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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Colugo or Flying Lemur

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6


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', although 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, 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 flight membrane.

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 Philippines. 

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, Singapore.

Fig 3 : Reddish adult, probably male, active at night, in secondary forest, Singapore.

Fig 4 : Juvenile peering from beneath its parents body at Upper Thomson, 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

Link :
Gliding mammal linked to humans
BBC News, 02 Nov 2007