Malayan flying Lemur

(Galeopterus variegatus)


Malayan flying Lemur IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

In spite of its name "flying lemur", this species is not a prosimian like the true lemurs, but belongs to a zoological order of their own, the DERMOPTERA ("skinwings"), which contains only one genus with two species, the Malayan and the Philippine flying lemurs.


The Malayan flying lemur, or "colugo", is mottled brownish or greyish above and paler below. Its head-body length ranges from 36–43 cm, the tail is about 22-27 cm long. Body-weight ranges from 1'000-1'750 g. Females are slightly larger than males.


Differently from bats, flying lemurs do not really fly, but a membrane stretching from the forelimbs to the tail, called patagium allows them to glide from tree to tree. Although the colugo's teeth resemble those of carnivores, its diet consists of fruit and leaves. It sleeps by day and forages at dusk.


Females give birth to one single young, rarely twins, following a gestation period of 60 days. Newborn flying lemurs are relatively undeveloped and, until weaned, are carried clinging to the belly of the mother, who can also fold the patagium near the tail into a soft, warm pouch for this purpose.

Did you know?
That the Philippine flying lemur is the main prey of the critically endangered Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi)? Indeed flying lemurs come up for up to 90 % of the eagle's meat consumption.


Name (Scientific) Galeopterus variegatus
Name (English) Malayan flying Lemur
Name (French) Lémur volant de Malaisie
Name (German) Malaien - oder Temminck - Gleitflieger
Name (Spanish) Colugo o Caguán malayo
Local names Colugo (Malaysian)
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Nick Baker, Ecology Asia



Range South-East Asia: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam
Habitat Tropical forests and woodlands
Wild population Unknown and drecreasing (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 1 reported to ISIS

In the Zoo

Malayan flying Lemur


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 77 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Nick Baker, Ecology Asia

Why do zoos keep this animal

Although of educational and scientific interest, colugos are hardly ever kept in zoos outside their range states.