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Pygmy Slow Loris

  • Order: Primates
  • Family: Lorisidae
  • Genus: Nycticebus
  • Species: pygmaeus
Fun Fact

The pygmy slow loris has scent glands near its elbow (brachial glands). When startled, the slow loris licks its brachial glands and applies the secretion to its heads. The oily secretion is similar to properties found in cat dander.

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About Pygmy Slow Lorises

The pygmy slow loris is about 6-10 inches long and weighs about 2 pounds. The wooly coat of the pygmy slow loris is short and thick. The coloration varies from light brownish to deep reddish brown. There is often a dark midline along the neck and back. They do not have tails but are well equipped for climbing trees because of their opposable thumbs. All loris species are nocturnal and very secretive which makes field research difficult. During the day loris sleep in branches, crevasses or buried in leaf litter on the ground. All loris communicate through olfaction and use urine to mark their territories.

Pygmy loris mate from July to early September with a gestation period of 176-198 days. They typically give birth to one or two offspring between early February and mid-March. There is very little known about the pygmy loris in the wild partly due to the unstable political situations in their native countries.

Pygmy Slow Lorises in the Wild


They inhabit tropical rainforests, evergreen forests and bamboo groves.


The pygmy slow loris is found in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, China and parts of Cambodia.


In the wild, the slow loris spends most of their night foraging for invertebrates such as beetles, weevils, caterpillars, crickets and spiders. They mostly eat seeds and fruit and occasionally will feed on small mammals and birds.

Population Status

The pygmy slow loris is heavily exploited for traditional “medicine” as well as for the pet trade; it is also used as a food source in some areas of its native range. There has been a 76% habitat loss from logging, along with destruction from military activities and hunting. The pygmy slow loris is considered to be under-protected in the wild. They have a “vulnerable” status which means the animal is facing a high probability of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future. A Species Survival Plan was established for the pygmy slow loris in 1994 in order to help conserve the species.

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