southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans volans)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Not confirmed.
CHARACTERISTICS: This species is smaller than the northern flying
squirrel with a total length of 198-255 mm and a weight of 46.5-85 grams.
The forelimbs are connected from the wrist to the ankle by a loose fold of
haired skin. The tail is densely haired, dorso-ventrally flattened, almost
parallel sided with a rounded tip. There is no apparent sexual dimorphism,
and the coat has a moderate length, and a dense, silky texture. The color of
the underparts are varied but usually drab soft brown. The base of the hair
is a deep neutral gray, and the sides of the face are gray. The forefeet are
white, gray, or light brown. The hindfeet are brown to gray and the toes
are white in the winter. The large prominent eyes are rimmed with black
fur. One to two litters of 2-6 young are born each year. Nests in tree
cavities are lined with bark, moss, lichens, feathers, and leaves. The nest
is typically 4.5-6 meters above the ground. November is the period of
peak activity. This species is strongly nocturnal.
DISTRIBUTION: This subspecies is present throughout Virginia except
in the westernmost tip.This species prefers, heavy deciduous timber, near
water. The preferred habitat is sufficient forested area for both food and
tree cavity nest resources.
FOODS: This is the most carnivorous North American sciurid. Nuts are
stored in nests, cracks, cavities, forks of trees, and on the ground with max-
imum nut storage activity in November. There are elliptical openings edged
with fine toothmarks on the sides of hickory nuts, and acorns which are a
telltale sign of flying squirrel. They are known to consume nuts in the fall
and winter, but flowers, fruit, berries, fungi, insects, bird eggs and lichens
are eaten during other seasons.
Crooked Run Valley