Philippine flying lemur

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"Cynocephalus" redirects here. For other uses, see Cynocephalus (disambiguation).
Philippine flying lemur
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Dermoptera
Family: Cynocephalidae
Genus: Cynocephalus
Boddaert, 1768
Species: C. volans
Binomial name
Cynocephalus volans
(Linnaeus, 1758) [2]
Philippine Flying Lemur area.png
Philippine flying lemur range

The Philippine flying lemur (Cynocephalus volans), known locally as the kagwang, is one of two species of flying lemurs, the only two living species in the order Dermoptera.[3] Additionally, it is the only member of the genus Cynocephalus.


The Philippine flying lemur is endemic to the Philippines. Its population is concentrated in the Mindanao region and Bohol.

Physical features[edit]

Mother with infant

Although called a flying lemur, it cannot fly and is not a lemur. The Philippine flying lemur is one of the two living species of the order Dermoptera. The other species is the Sunda flying lemur.

An average Philippine flying lemur weighs about 1 to 1.7 kg (2.2 to 3.7 lb) and is 14 to 17 in (36 to 43 cm) long. It has a wide head, small ears, and big eyes. Its clawed feet are large and webbed for fast climbing and for gliding. Its 12-in (36-cm) tail is connected to the forelimbs via a patagium. This membrane helps it glide distances of 100 m or more, useful for finding food and escaping predators, such as the Philippine eagle.[4] It is nocturnal and stays in hollow trees or clings on dense foliage during daytime. The female Philippine flying lemur usually gives birth to one young after a two-month gestation period. The young is helpless and attaches itself to its mother's belly, in a pouch fashioned from the mother's skin flaps.


Its 34 teeth resemble those of a carnivore, but the Philippine flying lemur eats mainly soft fruits, flowers, and young leaves.


The Philippine flying lemur is arboreal and usually resides in primary and secondary forests. However, some wander into coconut, banana, and rubber plantations. They are considered pests, since they eat fruits and flowers, so are hunted by humans. Their flesh is also cooked as a delicacy, and their fur is used as material for native caps. The IUCN 1996 had declared the species vulnerable owing to the destruction of lowland forests and to hunting, but it was downlisted to Least Concern in 2008. The 2008 IUCN report indicates the species persists in the face of degraded habitat, with its current population large enough to avoid the threatened category.[1]

Captive Philippine flying lemur


  1. ^ a b Gonzalez, J. C., Custodia, C., Carino, P. & Pamaong-Jose, R. (2008). Cynocephalus volans. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  2. ^ Linnæus, Carl (1758). Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I (in Latin) (10 ed.). Holmiæ: Laurentius Salvius. p. 30. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Stafford, B. J. (2005). "Order Dermoptera". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  4. ^ "Philippine Eagle" (Video). Retrieved 22 November 2012. "Philippine eagle hunting and catching flying lemur" 

External links[edit]