PYGMY SLOW LORIS – Nycticebus pygmaeus

PYGMY SLOW LORIS

Pygmy slow loris facts: This small loris is only 10 inches long (25.5 cm). It has no tail. Weight is just 11 ounces (310 grams), with males and females about the same size. The pygmy loris is colorful. It has bright orange-brown fur on its upper back and a light orangegray area on its upper chest. Its face is gray, with a dark orange-brown eye mask, and a white stripe between its eyes.

Geographic range: The pygmy slow loris is found in China, Laos, and Vietnam.

Pygmy slow loris habitat: Pygmy slow lorises thrive in evergreen tropical rainforests.

Pygmy slow loris diet: Pygmy slow lorises eat fruit, insects, and gums (plant juices). Some scientists believe this species prefers to eat gum, because in captivity they have been seen making holes in tree wood to get plant sap.

Behavior and reproduction: Pygmy slow lorises usually travel and feed alone. Each has a preferred territory where it lives. During the day, the pygmy slow loris sleeps holding on to branches in the midst of thick leaves and branches. At night, they use their strong arms and legs to move slowly and carefully, hand-over-hand, through trees. Like other lorisids, they mark their trails with urine.

Their mating system is not currently known. Females are pregnant for 192 days, a little more than six months. They may have one offspring (baby), or twins. Babies stay with the mother for a few weeks, hanging on to her belly. As the infant grows, it clings to its mother’s back while she travels. Then it follows her. Young pygmy lorises stay with their mother until they are about a year old, then go off on their own.

Pygmy slow lorises and people: Because they move around mostly at night, and are quite small, few people see them. However, some pygmy slow lorises are kept as pets in their native areas. Large zoos may include them in special exhibits.

Conservation status: The pygmy slow loris is listed as Vulnerable due to habitat loss from deforestation.