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southern flying squirrel

Fact File

Scientific Name: Glaucomys volans saturatus

Classification: Mammalia, Order Rodentia, Family Sciuridae

Identifying Characteristics

This species is smaller than the northern flying squirrel with a total length of 198-255 mm and a weight of 46.5-85 grams. The forelimbs are connected from the wrist to the ankle by a loose fold of haired skin. The tail is densely haired, dorso-ventrally flattened, almost parallel sided with a rounded tip. There is no apparent sexual dimorphism, and the coat has a moderate length, and a dense, silky texture. The color of the underparts are varied but usually drab soft brown. The base of the hair is a deep neutral gray, and the sides of the face are gray. The forefeet are white, gray, or light brown. The hindfeet are brown to gray and the toes are white in the winter. The large prominent eyes are rimmed with black fur. One to two litters of 2-6 young are born each year. Nests in tree cavities are lined with bark, moss, lichens, feathers, and leaves. The nest is typically 4.5-6 meters above the ground. November is the period of peak activity. This species is strongly nocturnal.


This subspecies is present in the westernmost tip of Virginia. This species prefers, heavy deciduous timber, near water. The preferred habitat is sufficient forested area for both food and tree cavity nest resources.

Last updated: August 18, 2023

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Species Profile Database serves as a repository of information for Virginia’s fish and wildlife species. The database is managed and curated by the Wildlife Information and Environmental Services (WIES) program. Species profile data, distribution information, and photography is generated by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, State and Federal agencies, Collection Permittees, and other trusted partners. This product is not suitable for legal, engineering, or surveying use. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources does not accept responsibility for any missing data, inaccuracies, or other errors which may exist. In accordance with the terms of service for this product, you agree to this disclaimer.