Many people have never seen a sugar glider, or are confused between these small gliding marsupials, and gliding rodents like flying squirrels. Therefore, a common question about sugar gliders is “what are their other names?”
The only official names of these specific animals are sugar gliders, the common name and the Latin name, Petaurus breviceps. There are 5 kinds of gliders but only sugar gliders are commonly kept as exotic pets. In other countries there are no native words for sugar gliders so they are usually just called sugar gliders. Occasionally, out of confusion, there are other names. In Japan, sugar gliders are sometimes called Momonga. However Momonga are actually a dwarf flying squirrel native to Asia and Europe which is not related to gliders. They do look alike in some ways.
The controversy of the name “Sugar Bears”
Certain glider breeders and brokers call sugar gliders “sugar bears” claiming that is there name in “some parts of the world.” However, the part of the world found has been on their own websites (of which are many) and those that follow their cues. One possible reason for this name change is to have something cutsey to copywrite. But another, more nefarious reason, is to keep potential pet owners from getting information. In an article from SunCoast Sugar Gliders, a well-respected breeder,
“I’ve had dialogue this month with a woman who bought a “sugar bear”. When she first purchased, she searched diligently for books and other information on its care. Of course, the only information found were websites put up by this same group. Ultimately the sugar glider got sick, so she called around to find a vet that could care for her “sugar bear”. None of these offices ever heard of such an animal, so they told her they couldn’t treat it.
She got very desperate in her search for help, so she took the sick little critter to an emergency vet, hoping they could at least try to help her save her “sugar bear”. Of course, when she went to the clinic, she was told this animal was actually a sugar glider. Unfortunately it was too late to save him. By not knowing the proper name of her animal, it cost her critter his life.”
Nicknames that owners give
Of course, sugar gliders are called many things UN-officially by their pet parents. Sugar babies, honey gliders, furrbabies, fuzzbutts, furrkids and pocket pets are just a few.