Information about the reproductive habits of the Galeopterus variegatus is scarce. The species was once found all over Malaysia, but it is now limited to specific areas of Southeast Asia (link to habitat.) Galeopterus variegatus move by climbing and gliding (link to adaptation.) Their ability to glide allows them to avoid predators, increase their locomotor efficiency, and reduce their landing forces. This is a eutharian species. Although males and females both have the ability to glide, there are factors that differentiate their gliding techniques.

 Galeopterus variegatus is a nocturnal species. This means they sleep during the day and forage at night. Studies have found that males glide more and travel farther distances than the females (Byrnes et al., 2011). During pregnancy, the females locomotor performance is even more limited due to their increased body mass (Fokidis and Risch, 2008). Males glide more in order to defend their territory, search for mates, and compete for mates. The increased gliding typically results in increased encounters with females. However, increased gliding also increases male predation risk. The number of mates a male Galeopterus variegatus acquires determines its fitness (Byrnes et al., 2011).


Figure 1. Illustration of a colugo gliding from a tree.


On average, female Galeopterus variegatus give birth to one offspring each reproductive period that is typically larger than non-gliding offspring (Byrnes et al., 2011). The females have a short gestation period that only lasts sixty days, and they are able to reproduce shortly after. The offspring nurse from their mother until they are weaned at approximately six months (Fokidis and Risch, 2008). Galeopterus variegatus have a membrane that stretches across their limbs that resembles wings. This membrane is called the patagium, and it can be used to make a pouch similar to that of marsupials like koalas. The patagium pouch aids in the weaning process (Fokidis and Risch, 2008).

Figure 2. Watercolor painting of a mother colugo carrying her offspring in her patagium pouch.