Pygmy Loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus)

This nocturnal primate is dull reddish-brown in color with darker fur surrounding the eyes (Ratajszczak, 1998). The dorsal side of the pelage is darker than the ventral side, which is lighter in color (Ankel-Simons, 2000). This species has a faint or absent dorsal stripe (Rowe, 1996). The second digit of the hand is reduced in length (Ankel-Simons, 2000). This species has powerful grasping hands and feet (Ankel-Simons, 2000). The tail of the pygmy loris is reduced and serves no function (Rowe, 1996). In the female the vulva is closed until estrus. The average body mass for an adult pygmy loris is about 500 grams (Ratajszczak, 1998).

This species is found in the following countries: Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. In Vietnam the pygmy loris has found to live in primary rainforest on limestone, secondary forests, and bamboo thickets (Ratajszczak, 1998). In Laos this species lives in dense evergreen forest (Ratajszczak, 1998). This species is found in altitudes up to 1500 meters (MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 1987).
Pygmy Loris

Pygmy Loris ECOLOGY:
This is an insectivorous species that also eats fruits, birds' eggs and chicks, geckos, and arboreal small mammals (Ratajszczak, 1998). Gums may also be part of the diet of the pygmy loris (Tan, 1994). During times when insects are rare and the temperature is colder this species may enter into torpor and live off of fat reserves (Ratajszczak, 1998). This is a nocturnal and an arboreal species.

As opposed to the slow loris, Nycticebus coucang, the pygmy loris does not employ the same slow quadrupedal locomotion, rather it moves with a rapid and smooth hand-over-hand type quadrupedal run (Duckworth, 1994).

The sociality is like that of N. coucang, the males home ranges overlap two or three females. The males check urine scent marks for signs of estrus in the females.


The importance of olfactory communication for this species is like that found in N. coucang.



This species gives birth to either one or two offspring (Weisenseel et al., 1996). The pygmy loris gives birth in the winter months (Ratajszczak, 1998). The gestation length for this species is 184-200 days (Weisenseel et al., 1996). During estrus both sexes will increase approaches towards one another and mutual contacts, and the male during this time will increase sniffing, licking of female's genitals, and mounting of the females (Fitch-Snyder et al., 1999).

Ankel-Simons, F. 2000. Primate Anatomy: An Introduction. Academic Press: San Diego.

Burton, F. 1995. The Multimedia Guide to the Non-human Primates. Prentice-Hall Canada Inc.

Duckworth, J.W. 1994. Field sightings of the pygmy loris, Nycticebus pygmaeus, in Laos. Folia Primatologica. Vol. 63, 99-101.

Fitch-Snyder, H., Jurke, M.H., Jurke, S., and Tornatore, N. 1999. Behavioral and physiological correlates of reproduction in a breeding colony of pygmy lorises (Nycticebus pygmaeus). (abstract) American Journal of Primatology. Vol. 49, 52.

MacKinnon, J. and MacKinnon, K. 1987. Conservation status of the primates of the Indo-Chinese subregion. Primate Conservation. Vol. 8, 187-195.

Ratajszczak, R. 1998. Taxonomy, distribution and status of the lesser slow loris Nycticebus pygmaeus and their implications for captive management. Folia Primatologica. Vol. 69(suppl 1), 171-174.

Rowe, N. 1996. The Pictorial Guide to the Living Primates. Pogonias Press: East Hampton, New York.

Tan, C.L. 1994. Survey of Nycticebus pygmaeus in southern Vietnam. 15th Congress of IPS: Handbook and Abstracts.

Weisenseel, K.A., Izard, M.K., Nash, L.T., Ange, R.L., and Poorman-Allen, P. 1996. A comparison of reproduction between two species of Nycticebus. (abstract) American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Suppl 22, 241.

Last Updated: March 24, 2007.
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