Old World flying squirrel

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Old World flying squirrels
Temporal range: Late Pliocene – Recent
Pteromys momonga fauna japonica.jpg
Japanese dwarf flying squirrel, (Pteromys momonga)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Tribe: Pteromyini
Genus: Pteromys
G. Cuvier, 1800

Pteromys volans
Pteromys momonga

Commonly referred to as the Old World flying squirrels, the genus Pteromys is distributed across temperate Eurasia, the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Although there are a host of flying squirrel genera in Asia (particularly southern Asia), Pteromys is the only one present in Europe.


These large-eyed animals are nocturnal and use a membrane stretching from their wrists to ankles in order to glide from tree to tree, they can glide up to 443 feet (135 m) and have a long flat tail. They feed on nuts, seeds, fruit, buds, bark, and insects.


There are two species in this genus:

  • Pteromys volans – Siberian flying squirrel – Found in northern Europe (mainly Russia and Finland, some isolated populations in Estonia and Latvia) and northern Asia.
  • Pteromys momonga – Japanese dwarf flying squirrel – Found in Japan (Honshu and Kyushu).


  • Nowak, Ronald M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, 6th edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1936 pp. ISBN 0-8018-5789-9