Petaurus australis, 1791Petaurus abidi, 1981

Russell A. Mittermeier & Don E. Wilson, 2015, Petauridae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 5 Monotremes and Marsupials, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 52-565 : 561-562

publication ID

https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6656820

DOI

https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6620345

persistent identifier

https://treatment.plazi.org/id/038A1613-FFBE-FF93-8630-F895CE68FAA6

treatment provided by

Felipe

scientific name

Petaurus australis Petaurus abidi
status

 

8.

Yellow-bellied Glider Petaurus australis

French: Possum a ventre jaune / German: Grofser Gleithornchenbeutler / Spanish: Falangero planeador de vientre amarillo

Other common names: Bellied Glider, Fluffy Glider

Taxonomy. Petaurus australis Shaw, 1791 , Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Although the geographically isolated population in north-east Queensland has been described as a separate race (reginae) named by O. Thomas in 1923, no subspecies are currently recognized. Monotypic.

Distribution. E Australia in NE Queensland (between Mt Windsor and Yamanie, on bank of Herbert River Gorge), and patchily from EC Queensland S along coast through New South Wales to the Victoria—South Australia border. View Figure

Bibliography. Brazenor (1962), Flannery (1994a), Hansen & Taylor (2008), Hansen etal. (2009), Harley (20044, 2004b), Harley & Lill (2007), Harley et al. (2005), Lindenmayer (1996), Lindenmayer & Meggs (1996), Lindenmayer & Possingham (2013), Lindenmayer, MacGregor & Gibbons (2002), Loyn & McNabb (1982), Menkhorst (2008b), Smales (1994), Smith, A.P (1984a, 1984b), Smith, A.P & Harley (2008), Smith, A.P & Lindenmayer (1988), Wilkinson (1961).

Descriptive notes. Head—body 24-31 cm,tail 38-47 cm; weight 470-725 g (males) and 435-660 g (females). Conforms to Bergmann’s Rule: individuals in more tropical regions have a smaller body mass than those from more temperate regions. This species is the largest petaurid glider. It is gray brown (sometimes rich brown) above, with a distinctive black dorsal stripe extending from head to rump. Young animals typically have a white belly, and adults have a distinctive yellow belly. The speciesis also the most vocal of the petaurid possums,so is easily distinguished from other petaurid gliders.

Habitat. Inhabits wet sclerophyll forest, open coastal forest, and foothill forests that are dominated by mature, tall eucalypts. One study documented a definite preference for forest associations that contain gum-barked and winter-flowering species. Within these associations, the abundance of animals was correlated with microhabitat variables and structural variables representing forest age and degree of disturbance; significant factors included the structural variable,site productivity, and the number of dead hollowbearing trees (which relate to the foraging and denning requirements of the glider).

7.

Northern Glider

Petaurus abidi

Food and Feeding. The diet ofthis glider consists primarily of insects, arthropods, and exudates, including sap from trees, lerps, manna, honeydew, and nectar and pollen, the proportion of each varying among different locations. Insects are often caught while the glideris foraging through peeling bark. When sap-feeding,it uses its lower incisors to gouge into a Eucalyptus , Corymbia (both Myrtaceae ), or sometimes Acacia ( Fabaceae ) tree (referred to as sap-site trees), after which the sap can continue to flow and be eaten by the gliders for several decades. The incisions made form a V-shape that is typically c¢.12 cm long and has an angle of approximately 100°; they are cut through the outer bark, inner bark, and cambium layers of the trunk and form a neat channel typically 5-10 mm wide and 4-10 mm deep,just touching the sapwood, which is not incised. The incised trees typically have a minimum diameter at breast height greater than 40 cm. Some tree species extensively used at one location may be completely ignored at another. Tree sap is particularly important at extremes of the range, including north Queensland and western Victoria, as it accounts for more than 80% of the diet. In other parts of the glider’s distribution sap constitutes ¢.30% of the diet. Typically, only one or two species of tree are used at a particularsite, even though five or six may be available, and fewer than 1% of possible trees are incised for sap at any one location. Individuals also use fewer than ten trees of a particular species and on average use only two trees at a time, of which they choose a single one and feed on sap for the whole night. In north Queensland, only one tree species, the red mahogany ( Eucalyptus resinifera), is used. Variation in sap flow appears to occur independently of rainfall or microhabitat where the tree is located. Experimental incising oftrees, designed to mimic the effects of feeding by gliders, have failed to show any effect on sap flow, which suggests that the incidence of sap-feeding is determined by a tree’s pattern of sap flow, and that there may be trees with unusual patterns of sap flow that the gliders select as the most favorable trees to incise. Nectar and pollen are also very important to Yellow-bellied Gliders, particularly in southern New South Wales, where gliders may visit a single flowering tree (possibly all night). The availability of nectar and pollen varies temporally and, at times when few flowering trees are present,gliders may choose trees with fewer flowers than at times when flowering trees are abundant. At other times, when flowering trees are superabundant or scarce, there may be no relationship between the number of flowers in a tree and the duration ofvisits by gliders. In one study, at intermediate levels of abundance, the amount of time that a glider spent in a tree was related to the number of flowers in a tree.

French: Possum de Ziegler / German: Nordlicher Gleithdrchenbeutler / Spanish: Falangero planeador septentrional

Taxonomy. Petaurus abidi Ziegler, 1981 ,

“Papua New Guinea, West Sepik Province, Mount Somoro (also spelled Somero; approximate coordinates 3°25’S, 142°05°E), about 1220 m, approximately 9-7 km ENE Lumi (Patrol Post).”

This species is monotypic.

Distribution. Mt Somoro and adjacent areas in Torricelli Mts, NW Papua New Guinea. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head—body 25-28 cm,tail 35-38 cm; weight 228-332 g. This species can be readily distinguished from the New Guinean Sugar Glider (P. breviceps), which occurs in same area, by its much greater size and predominantly black tail. It differs from the three Australian gliders in its very long, thickly furred, yet not bushytail. Its dorsal fur is pale gray, washed with yellowish brown, especially toward midline of back and on rump.

Habitat. Occurs in primary, mid-montane tropical moist forests, and in rural gar dens close to forest. Found at elevations above 300 m, but thoughtto be rare below 800 m; most are recorded between 800 m and 1200 m.

Food and Feeding. Not much is known of the diet. Specimens have been collected while they were feeding on figs ( Ficus , Moraceae ), and captive animals have thrived on guavas, bananas, and Syzygium ( Myrtaceae ) fruit.

Breeding. Little is known about the reproduction of the Northern Glider. A lactating female was collected in March; another female was carrying a pouch young that was just acquiring fur on the head and weighed 6-5 g.

Activity patterns. There is no information available for this species.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. The ecology of this petaurid has not been studied well to date, but some anecdotal observations exist. Three adult males and two adult females were found in a hollow, which had been enlarged by chewing, in an isolated senescent tree (known locally as “diri”). Captive individuals have been heard to make a series of loud growls and shrieks.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Critically Endangered on The IUCN Red Last. This New Guinean species is known only from Mount Somoro and nearby areas in the Torricelli Mountains. Its extent of occurrence is limited, covering less than 100 km?, and because all individuals are in a single location, because the extent and quality of its habitat are continuing to decline owing to heavy deforestation and conversion to gardens, and because it is hunted for food, it is considered to be at the highest risk. Only seven animals have been captured in the last 20 years. In the future the Northern Glider may be found to occur in the poorly surveyed North Coastal Ranges of Papua, which comprise a section of mountain range c.100 km in length and a few tens of kilometers wide, from at least Fas 2 Village (to the east of Mount Menawa) in the west to Mount Sapua in the east. For the present, however,it is essential that it be afforded protection in conservation areas.

Bibliography. Flannery (1994a), Leary, Wright, Hamilton, Singadan, Menzies, Bonaccorso, Salas et al. (2008a), Ziegler (1981).

Breeding. Females typically give birth to a single young annually, although there are occasional records of two young. Births peak during the months ofJuly-October. There appears to be a general trend toward slight regional differences in breeding times, populations in Queensland breeding mostly between June and late August, those in southern New South Wales during February-April, and those in Victoria from August to December. The young reach sexual maturity at approximately 15-24 months of age.

Activity patterns. Yellow-bellied Gliders are nocturnal, emerging from their dens c.19 minutes after dusk. When not in their tree-hollow dens they spend ¢.90% of the time in foraging-related activities, including climbing, gliding, and feeding, during which they can traverse more than 2 km per night. They sometimes return to the nest hollow after dawn during the shorter nights of summer. Gliders spend most of the night outside the dens (96% in summer, 73% in winter), and devote an average of 81% of this time to feeding; they are inactive for only 2% of the time. When feeding time is coupled with that for other behaviors essential for foraging (i.e. gliding and climbing), 90% of the time outside the den is accounted for. This is among the highest values yet found for a mammal. Various studies showed that the amount of time gliders spent in trees was significantly greater when feeding on exudates (on average, more than 48 minutes per tree) than when harvesting arthropods and other food types from under loose bark (less than 13 minutes per tree); distances traversed by gliders observed for entire nights (range 590-2350 m) appear to reflect this pattern, but further data are required. Glides averaged 40 m, but ranged up to 100 m; and type of food influenced the number of gliders feeding together in the same tree.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. These gliders typically live in family groups, in home ranges of 30-65 ha, the largest of any petaurid. These home ranges are defended; gliders that are not part of the group are attacked by the resident animals and occasionally killed. The home range appears to be maintained by scent marking branches with the frontal gland and chest gland. As a result of the large, mutually exclusive home ranges, Yellow-bellied Gliders have a density of only 0-10-0-19 ind/ ha in preferred habitat and as low as 0-04 ind/ha in other habitat. Within their home range they have several dens that they often share with each other. In traversing their home range these gliders make glides of approximately 40 m, with glides over 140 m recorded. A family group contains two to six individuals, consisting of an adult male with one or more females and their offspring. Thesize of the groups and the apparent mating system appear to depend on the quality of the habitat and the associated availability of food. In some populations, smaller group size is preferred because flowering resources are more limited, and a monogamous mating system predominates, with one pair and its offspring in groups containing 2-3 individuals; in other populations, with access to a combination of eucalypt species that provides abundant food resources throughout the year, larger polygynous groups of up to six individuals (one adult male and two adult females and their offspring) occur. Within the groups cohesion appears to be maintained through scent marking. Adult males have scent glands on the head, chest, and near the base of the tail, and members of the group rub themselves against these glands. This species is the most vocal of all Australian gliders, with an extraordinary 17 differentcalls recorded, including loud shrieks, long gurgling calls, and soft buccal clicks. The rate of calling varies through the night, being more frequent in the first three hours of activity after emergence, with calling as often as 10-15 times per hour while foraging. The loud shrieks can be heard 500 m away. A moan and a gurgle are emitted only during gliding, suggesting that these serve as a method for coordinating the movements of individuals within the group, and may also serve a territorial function. Calling frequency increases near the boundary of the home range. Studies show call rates of nine times per 30 minutes near the perimeter, whereas at the core of the home range only two calls per 30 minutes were recorded. The territorial nature of these vocalizations is supported by experimental playbacks of the calls used to signal an intruder: calling rates by the gliders increased significantly, to six calls per 15 minutes, compared with only 2-8 calls per 145 minutes before the playback.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Least Concern on The IUCN Red List. The population in north Queensland (possibly a separate subspecies) is considered to be vulnerable and the one in South Australia is considered endangered. These two populations, at the extremes of the range, are isolated from the remainder. Although this species has a wide distribution with a presumed large population, occurs in a number of protected areas, and is unlikely to be declining at a rate that would give cause for concern, it is patchily distributed, and all available information on the natural history of this glider indicates that it is particularly sensitive to habitat-clearing and fragmentation. Where habitat is protected from clear-cutting, degradation may become a major problem as a result offires and extreme weather events such as high winds that blow trees over. Timber-production areas need to be managed appropriately to ensure that large areas of intact, contiguous forest are retained, with particular focus on maintaining tree hollows and sap trees. From a study of habitat preferences in south-east Queensland, implications for forest management include the need to retain both mature gum-barked eucalypt species and live hollow-bearing trees during harvesting operations. Long-term conservation of the glider is compatible with low-intensity selective logging, where a high proportion of ironbark and gum-barked stems with a diameter at breast height greater than 50 cm is retained during logging events. The recruitment of potential hollow-bearing trees will be essential, and dead hollow-bearing trees will need to be maintained to provide an interim hollow resource. A population-viability analysis of the Yellow-bellied Glider proposed that 150 groups of gliders were needed to support a viable population, and thatthis required a minimum of 9750 ha where all habitat is used. As no more than 28-54% of the available habitatis exploited in some populations,it was suggested that 18,000-35,000 ha should be provided as a minimum area to maximize the chances of the species’ long-term survival.

Bibliography. Brown et al. (2007), Carthew (2004), Craig (1985, 1986), Eyre & Goldingay (2003, 2005), Eyre & Smith (1997), Flannery (1994a), Goldingay (1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 2000a, 2008), Goldingay & Kavanagh (1990, 1991, 1993), Goldingay & Quin (2004), Goldingay et al. (2001), Henry & Craig (1984), Kavanagh & Rohan-Jones (1982), Mackowski (1988), Menkhorst, Winter et al. (2008), Quin, Goldingay et al. (1996), Russell (1984), Thomas (1923c).

7.

Northern Glider

Petaurus abidi

Food and Feeding. The diet ofthis glider consists primarily of insects, arthropods, and exudates, including sap from trees, lerps, manna, honeydew, and nectar and pollen, the proportion of each varying among different locations. Insects are often caught while the glideris foraging through peeling bark. When sap-feeding,it uses its lower incisors to gouge into a Eucalyptus , Corymbia (both Myrtaceae ), or sometimes Acacia ( Fabaceae ) tree (referred to as sap-site trees), after which the sap can continue to flow and be eaten by the gliders for several decades. The incisions made form a V-shape that is typically c¢.12 cm long and has an angle of approximately 100°; they are cut through the outer bark, inner bark, and cambium layers of the trunk and form a neat channel typically 5-10 mm wide and 4-10 mm deep,just touching the sapwood, which is not incised. The incised trees typically have a minimum diameter at breast height greater than 40 cm. Some tree species extensively used at one location may be completely ignored at another. Tree sap is particularly important at extremes of the range, including north Queensland and western Victoria, as it accounts for more than 80% of the diet. In other parts of the glider’s distribution sap constitutes ¢.30% of the diet. Typically, only one or two species of tree are used at a particularsite, even though five or six may be available, and fewer than 1% of possible trees are incised for sap at any one location. Individuals also use fewer than ten trees of a particular species and on average use only two trees at a time, of which they choose a single one and feed on sap for the whole night. In north Queensland, only one tree species, the red mahogany ( Eucalyptus resinifera), is used. Variation in sap flow appears to occur independently of rainfall or microhabitat where the tree is located. Experimental incising oftrees, designed to mimic the effects of feeding by gliders, have failed to show any effect on sap flow, which suggests that the incidence of sap-feeding is determined by a tree’s pattern of sap flow, and that there may be trees with unusual patterns of sap flow that the gliders select as the most favorable trees to incise. Nectar and pollen are also very important to Yellow-bellied Gliders, particularly in southern New South Wales, where gliders may visit a single flowering tree (possibly all night). The availability of nectar and pollen varies temporally and, at times when few flowering trees are present,gliders may choose trees with fewer flowers than at times when flowering trees are abundant. At other times, when flowering trees are superabundant or scarce, there may be no relationship between the number of flowers in a tree and the duration ofvisits by gliders. In one study, at intermediate levels of abundance, the amount of time that a glider spent in a tree was related to the number of flowers in a tree.

French: Possum de Ziegler / German: Nordlicher Gleithdrchenbeutler / Spanish: Falangero planeador septentrional

Taxonomy. Petaurus abidi Ziegler, 1981 ,

“Papua New Guinea, West Sepik Province, Mount Somoro (also spelled Somero; approximate coordinates 3°25’S, 142°05°E), about 1220 m, approximately 9-7 km ENE Lumi (Patrol Post).”

This species is monotypic.

Distribution. Mt Somoro and adjacent areas in Torricelli Mts, NW Papua New Guinea. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head—body 25-28 cm,tail 35-38 cm; weight 228-332 g. This species can be readily distinguished from the New Guinean Sugar Glider (P. breviceps), which occurs in same area, by its much greater size and predominantly black tail. It differs from the three Australian gliders in its very long, thickly furred, yet not bushytail. Its dorsal fur is pale gray, washed with yellowish brown, especially toward midline of back and on rump.

Habitat. Occurs in primary, mid-montane tropical moist forests, and in rural gar dens close to forest. Found at elevations above 300 m, but thoughtto be rare below 800 m; most are recorded between 800 m and 1200 m.

Food and Feeding. Not much is known of the diet. Specimens have been collected while they were feeding on figs ( Ficus , Moraceae ), and captive animals have thrived on guavas, bananas, and Syzygium ( Myrtaceae ) fruit.

Breeding. Little is known about the reproduction of the Northern Glider. A lactating female was collected in March; another female was carrying a pouch young that was just acquiring fur on the head and weighed 6-5 g.

Activity patterns. There is no information available for this species.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. The ecology of this petaurid has not been studied well to date, but some anecdotal observations exist. Three adult males and two adult females were found in a hollow, which had been enlarged by chewing, in an isolated senescent tree (known locally as “diri”). Captive individuals have been heard to make a series of loud growls and shrieks.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Critically Endangered on The IUCN Red Last. This New Guinean species is known only from Mount Somoro and nearby areas in the Torricelli Mountains. Its extent of occurrence is limited, covering less than 100 km?, and because all individuals are in a single location, because the extent and quality of its habitat are continuing to decline owing to heavy deforestation and conversion to gardens, and because it is hunted for food, it is considered to be at the highest risk. Only seven animals have been captured in the last 20 years. In the future the Northern Glider may be found to occur in the poorly surveyed North Coastal Ranges of Papua, which comprise a section of mountain range c.100 km in length and a few tens of kilometers wide, from at least Fas 2 Village (to the east of Mount Menawa) in the west to Mount Sapua in the east. For the present, however,it is essential that it be afforded protection in conservation areas.

Bibliography. Flannery (1994a), Leary, Wright, Hamilton, Singadan, Menzies, Bonaccorso, Salas et al. (2008a), Ziegler (1981).

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Mammalia

Order

Diprotodontia

Family

Petauridae

Genus

Petaurus

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Mammalia

Order

Diprotodontia

Family

Petauridae

Genus

Petaurus

Loc

Petaurus australis Petaurus abidi

Russell A. Mittermeier & Don E. Wilson 2015
2015
Loc

Petaurus abidi

Ziegler 1981
1981
Loc

Petaurus australis

Shaw 1791
1791