Order : DERMOPTERA
Family : Cynocephalidae
Species : Galeopterus variegatus
Head-Body Length : 34-38cm
Tail Length : 24-25cm
Weight : 0.9-1.3 kg
Colugos are mammals from
an ancient lineage, with just two species comprising the Order Dermoptera.
Confusingly they are also called 'Flying Lemurs', though they are not
closely related to the Lemurs of Madagascar. They can glide long distances,
however, as they possess a thin membrane stretched to the ends of the tail
and each limb.
Generally they are mottled grey or green-grey in colour, with dark banding,
but some specimens are reddish to yellowish-orange. Their diet includes leaves and young shoots.
During the day they rest high in the trees, clinging to trunks or hiding in
tree holes. At dusk they become active, gliding from trunk to trunk like
sheets of paper blown on the wind. The young are carried clinging to the
Colugos range from Burma,
Indochina and Southern Thailand to Peninsular
Malaysia, Singapore and the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java. They
also occur throughout Borneo. A second Colugo species inhabits the southern
Fig 1 : Adult with orange fur carrying juvenile with grey fur. Seen at Pulau
Pinang, Penang, Peninsular Malaysia with
Fig 2 : Female and young at Lower Peirce Forest,
Fig 3 : Reddish adult, probably male, active at
night, in secondary forest, Singapore.
Fig 4 : Juvenile peering from beneath its parents body at Bukit Timah, Singapore.
Fig 5 : Colugos must lift their tail over their body in order to defecate.
Fig 6 : Red specimen from Singapore's central forests.
References : M2
mammal linked to humans
BBC News, 02 Nov 2007