Recently I adopted a female sugar glider, about 1yr of age. It was openly disclosed to me, I am the 3rd owner and she was not handled often. Like ferrets, they are often neglected, which is exactly why I decided to adopt and put in the hard work to bond. Im a first time gilder owner and owner of 3 ferrets.
Day 1 went extremely well. Day 2 She bit the hell out of me drawing blood in multiple spots. After tons of research and reading through heaping piles of posts from long term owners about incorrect handling or bonding techniques.... I heavily weighed that as an option, but decided it wasn't the case and further assessed
I had hand fed her a meal worm after digging around in the container to pick one up. Her level of excitement and chatter was through the roof. It was adorable, until...her snack was finished of course. I was bitten 5-8 times... 3 of which drew blood... the last bite landing on my pinky where the nail and skin meet (extremely painful).
so I looked at this situationally, and really assessed and researched what had happened. The recurring theme seemed to be mealworms, and adopted, or new gliders. Scientifically speaking, these marsupials are rely heavily on scent to identify. Being a new owner, and her not knowing my scent... and having her favorite snacks scent on my fingers... I think confusion/excitement is all it was. she was nippy for most of the night, but it seemed to be mostly territorial, and the light bites seemed to be out of nervousness and lack of handling from previous owners. Again later that night I fed her mealworms and she kept ferociously trying to bite.
Solution: I only feed her meal worms while she is in her cage. I wash my hands and wait a couple of minutes before handling her. Perhaps in time she will learn not to bite me once we are bonded and all the unfamiliar scents aren't confusing / overwhelming.