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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Philippine Flying Lemur, Cynocephalus volans

The Philippine flying lemur (Cynocephalus volans) is the only member of its genus, Cynocephalus, and is one of two species of flying lemur. This species is native to the Philippines, with a range that includes the Bohol and Mindanao regions of that area. It prefers a habitat in primary and secondary forests, although it can be seen in banana, coconut, and rubber plantations.

The Philippine flying lemur reaches an average body length between fourteen and seventeen inches, with a tail length of about twelve inches and an average weight of about one pound.  It has a wide head with big eyes and small ears, and clawed, webbed feet that aid in climbing. Its long tail is connected to its hind legs by a membrane, called a patagium, which helps it escape predators and move around by giving it the ability to glide.

The Philippine flying lemur is arboreal, spending most of its time in the trees, and spends the daytime hours resting in dense foliage or inside hollow trees.  This species feeds mainly on flowers, young leaves, and soft fruits, despite its carnivore like teeth. After a pregnancy period of about two months, females give birth to one young, which climbs into a pouch on the mother’s belly.

The Philippine flying lemur is threatened by hunting for food purposes and for protecting fruit crops, as well as habitat loss, but these threats are not thought to endanger the species as a whole. Because of this, it appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”

Image Caption: Philippine Flying Lemur (Cynocephalus volans). Credit: Kok Leng Yeo/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)

Philippine Flying Lemur Cynocephalus volans