Posted: September 13, 2010, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: I have two female gliders. Every so often, I catch one of the girls trying to “mate” with the other. She even bites her neck. It scares me. I've tried to pull them apart, but the one “mating” bites down harder. What do I do? It scares me when it happens.
A: This behavior is quite common with sugar gliders, including female pairings. Whenever two or more gliders are housed together one will establish dominance over the other. The “mating” and biting behavior is one way that a sugar glider affirms it is the dominant of the two.
Sugar gliders live in colonies in the wild and establish an order of rank. This embedded instinct is also displayed with gliders living in captivity. Sugar glider personalities vary greatly. Some are quite docile in their dominant role. Some dominant gliders can be quite aggressive with their behavior. Both extremes are normal and rarely result in injury.
If an injury occurs, 95 percent of the time something else is going on besides a dominance issue. The sugar gliders should be separated permanently.
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