Species profile

Name: colugos – or flying lemurs – are gliding mammals found in Southeast Asia. There are two distinct species: the Philippine colugo (Cynocephalus volans) and the Sunda colugo (Galeopterus variegatus). While colugos are close relatives of primates, they are not actually lemurs.

Appearance: colugos have long, slender limbs and light bodies to help in flying. Their heads are small with large, front-focused eyes.

Size: they reach up to 35 to 40 cm long and weigh between 1 to 2 kg.

Diet: they are herbivores, eating leaves, shoots, flowers, sap, and fruit. 

Did you know: colugos are the most capable fliers of all gliding mammals, and can travel as far as 70 metres from tree to tree. One individual was even recorded travelling 150 metres in one glide! They can do this thanks to a large membrane of skin between their limbs. This gliding membrane runs from the shoulders to the front paws, from the front to the back paws, and from the legs to the tip of the tail. The spaces between colugos’ fingers and toes are also webbed. Because of this unusual adaption, they were once considered to be close relatives of bats.  Although today, they are considered to be the closest living relatives of primates.

Location: colugos are shy, nocturnal, and solitary animals found in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. 

Best places to see colugos

According to reports submitted to WildSide, the best places to see colugos are as follows:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Pulau Tioman
very high
very good

Photo credit: Andrea Schieber, under a Creative Commons license from Flickr

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