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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Bornean Colugo

Fig 1

Fig 2

















Family : Cynocephalidae
Species : Galeopterus borneanus

Head-Body Length : up to 36 cm
Tail Length : up to 25 cm
Weight : up to 1.75 kg

The Bornean Colugo was formerly considered to be a lineage of the Sunda Colugo Galeopterus variegatus, however since the publication of work by Janečka et al (2008) it has widely been considered as a separate species, or even a species complex.

This species is widespread where suitable forest still exists; it has been recorded up to 900 metres elevation at Poring, Sabah (Figs 1 and 2 were both taken at Poring).

Bornean colugos of both sexes are invariably mottled greyish or greenish-grey, but occasional reddish or dark brown examples are seen which are male.

As with other species of colugo, Galeopterus borneanus is fully nocturnal; by day it clings vertically to tree trunks. Its diet comprises a variety of leaves and other vegetation, and possibly occasional small insects; Nasir (2012) documented the behavioural ecology of this species at Bako National Park, Sarawak, where he once observed a colugo feeding on ants inside a treehole.

Males of the closely-related Galeopterus variegatus in Singapore are known to be competitive, and will have fights with other males for territory or mating rights (Lim, 2007); territorial scent marking has been documented for Galeopterus borneanus in Borneo (Nasir, 2012).

Fig 1 : Historical example from 2001 seen at Poring, Sabah, at an elevation of around 500 metres.

Fig 2 : Bornean hill forest mosaic at Poring, Sabah, viewed from Kipungit Trail.

References : M12

Janečka, J. E., Helgen, K. M., Lim, N. T. L., Baba, M., Izawa, M., & Murphy, W. J. (2008). Evidence for multiple species of Sunda colugo. Current Biology, 18(21), R1001-R1002.

Lim, N. (2007). Colugo: the Flying Lemur of South-east Asia. Draco Publishing and Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. 80 pp.

Nasir, D. (2012). Behavioural Ecology of the Sunda Colugo Galeopterus variegatus (in Bako National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia). Lambert Academic Publishing. Saarbrucken. 140 pp.