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Sunda Flying Lemur

Galeopterus variegatus


The Sunda Flying Lemur, or Sunda colugo, is not a lemur and doesn't fly! Rather, it glides using a membrane attached to its body. It is one of just two extant species of colugos, which make up the entire family Cynocephalidae and order Dermoptera. A recent study has found that there remains only about 1000 individuals across Singapore's protected forests.


Primary forest (Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, one of the largest patches of primary rainforest left in Singapore). Pin moved away from exact location.


The Dermoptera, along with the Scandentia (tree shrews), are the closest living relatives of the Primates. The membrane of colugos extends along the limbs to the tips of the fingers, toes, and tail, and is more extensive than in other gliding mammals, whose gliding surface is only stretched between the limbs, with fingers, toes, and tail left free. Here the membrane is quite visible on the second shot. Colugos are completely arboreal and nearly helpless on the ground, and are able to travel over 100 meters in a single glide. This one didn't glide for us unfortunately. They are generally nocturnal and feed on leaves, buds, flowers, and fruit. At day time they cling to trees and don't do much, as seen on this series of pictures. Thank you fellow Project Noah ranger Craig Williams for providing me with info as to the whereabouts of colugos at Bukit Timah on that day. Apologies for the poor quality of pictures; the animal is high in the trees in dark forest, away from the tracks. Lim, N.T. (2004). Autecology and a preliminary population census of the Malayan flying lemur Cynocephalus variegatus in Singapore. BSc. Final Year Project. National University of Singapor, Singapore.

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41 Comments (1–25)

DanielePralong 9 years ago

Thank you Nishant!

Nishant 9 years ago

Great spotting!

DanielePralong 9 years ago

Thanks Peter! Yes, I was quite thrilled. I spent a fair bit of time watching it in the distance but it clearly wasn't going anywhere. It was the only one I saw.

PieterColpaert 9 years ago

Congratulations Daniele! Must have been really cool to see it!

DanielePralong 9 years ago

A round of warm thanks to everyone who commented again on this very unique animal. hernandezwolf99, I'm glad you had at least a chance to see this animal here on Project Noah, and duttagupta I'm very pleased I made your day :-)

duttagupta35504 9 years ago

Thank you so much Daniele for your kind words! You made my day!

Maria dB
Maria dB 9 years ago

What an interesting spotting, Daniele - congratulations!!

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 9 years ago

Congratulations, Daniele. It is an awesome spotting of an awesome animal.

hernandezwolf99 9 years ago

That's a a animal I've always wanted to see in my whole life. They're some of the strangest creatures I know of

Well it's diferente because is not at all a Lemur :-)

Danièle,awesome spotting,very diferente from the other lemurs,congrats on the well deserved SOTD and thanks for sharing

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

Thanks for sharing such a unique spotting.

DanielePralong 9 years ago

Thanks you namitha, Dan, Chun, duttagupta35504, Viv, and Noel for your comments on this very special creature. duttagupta, I hope you will spot one one day, and maybe even see it glide. The temporary closure of Bukit Timah is all for the best indeed. It's my turn to congratulate you on the missions you've created here for Singapore and on your blog. Nature needs more young people like you :-)

namitha 9 years ago

Congratulations Daniele on this wonderful spotting and SOTD!

Dan Doucette
Dan Doucette 9 years ago

Congrats D!

ChunXingWong 9 years ago

We do not have many spottings of this. It is a one of a kind creature.
Well done Daniele, in spotting this!
Hope you had great fun in Singapore.

duttagupta35504 9 years ago

So jealous! I've been wanting to see one of these for forever. Unfortunately I can't visit Bukit Timah now because it's closed for a much needed rejuvenation-renovation. Ah well. Congratultaions and fantastic photographs!

VivBraznell 9 years ago

Congratulations Daniele on the SOTD .. : )

Noel Buensuceso
Noel Buensuceso 9 years ago

Congratulations Daniele! Great info. and great series!!!

DanielePralong 9 years ago

Thanks Pam, Leuba and Satyen!

Wild Things
Wild Things 9 years ago

Congrats Daniele!

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 9 years ago

Fantastic spotting, Daniele ! There's so much clarity despite the distance- love the fur. Thanks for the information and Congratulations !!

pamsai 9 years ago

Amazing spotting Daniele. Love the eyes in the second photo. Congrats.

DanielePralong 9 years ago

Thanks Karen for the honor! And thank you everyone for your comments and likes.

Dilan Chathuranga
Dilan Chathuranga 9 years ago

Congrats Daniele!!!Nice spottings!!!

Spotted by

Singapore, Singapore

Spotted on Apr 10, 2014
Submitted on Jun 29, 2014

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