Pteromyscus pulverulentussmoky flying squirrel

Geographic Range

Pteromyscus pulverulentus is found throughout the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and northern Borneo (Sabah and Sarawak).


Pteromyscus pulverulentus primarily occupies lowland primary forests (Niethammer, 1988). It is less common in higher elevations up to 3.000 ft. (Nowak, 1991).

  • Range elevation
    1000 (high) m
    3280.84 (high) ft

Physical Description

The body length of Pteromyscus pulverulentus ranges from 22 to 29 cm, tail length from 18 to 23 cm, hind foot length from 38 -45 mm, and ear length from 17 to 23 mm (Medway, 1978). Muul and Lim (1971) gave the weight as 134 to 252 g. The dental formula is 1/1 0/0 2/2 3/3. The upperparts are dark brown to blackish, the basal hairs are grey with buffy or whitish subterminal bands, giving a frosted appearance. The underparts are buffy white, the feet are light brown, and the cheeks are grey. The tail exhibits longer hairs on sides than on the top or bottom, giving it a slightly flattened profile, but not as pronounced as in Glaucomys species. The bushy tail is greyish brown with blackish hairs at the tip.

  • Range mass
    134 to 252 g
    4.72 to 8.88 oz
  • Average mass
    0 g
    0.00 oz
  • Range length
    22 to 29 cm
    8.66 to 11.42 in
  • Average length
    0 cm
    0.00 in


Pteromyscus pulverulentus individuals breed and give birth in Malaysia in all months of the year (Medway, 1978). The litter size is 1 to 2, with an average of 1.3. Litters and pregnant females are found throughout the year, though only in small numbers.

  • Breeding season
    Smoky Flying Squirrels breed throughout the year.
  • Range number of offspring
    1 to 2
  • Average number of offspring


Smoky Flying Squirrels are nocturnal animals and are mainly solitary. In Sabah they spend their days roosting in tree holes 3 to 4 meters above the ground (Payne et. al. 1985).

Communication and Perception

Food Habits

This species is believed to feed on plant material including leaves, buds, blossoms, and young shoots (Muul and Lim, 1978).

  • Plant Foods
  • leaves
  • fruit

Conservation Status

Status: IUCN - Lower risk: near threatened.

Muul (1989, in Nowak, 1991) warned that human exploitation of the primary forest habitat of Pteromyscus could seriously threaten this unique genus, resulting in its disappearance from Thailand and Malaysia.

Other Comments

Aeromys tephromelas, the Black Flying Squirrel, is a similar species. It is larger, with a rounded, fluffy tail, and has greyish, fluffy hair on its underparts (Payne et. al. 1985).


Rudolf Haslauer (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Cynthia Sims Parr (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.



young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate


animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.


union of egg and spermatozoan


an animal that mainly eats leaves.


An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.

internal fertilization

fertilization takes place within the female's body


offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).


having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.


active during the night


found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.

World Map


rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


lives alone


uses touch to communicate


the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.


reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.

year-round breeding

breeding takes place throughout the year


Medway, L. 1978. The Wild Mammals of Malaya and Singapore. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Muul, I., B. Lim. 1978. Comparative morphology, food habits, and ecology of some Malayasian arboreal rodents. Pp. 361-368 in G Montgomery, ed. The Ecology of Arboreal Folivores. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Niethammer, J. 1988. Grzimek's Enzyklopädie der Säugetiere Band 3. München: Kindler Verlag.

Nowak, R. 1991. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Payne, J., C. Francis, K. Phillips. 1985. A Field Guide to the Mammals of Borneo. The Sabah Society.

Wilson, D., D. Reeder. 1993. Mammal Species of the World, Second edition. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.