Pygmy slow loris

Latin Name
Nycticebus pygmaeus




Less than a foot long, the pygmy slow loris is most recognized for its huge eyes, which it employs to spot prey at night. The short, brown/gray coat will vary by individual. Opposable thumbs and strong hands and feet are used to climb trees, which the pygmy slow loris does—naturally—at a slow pace.



The pygmy slow loris is found in the secondary forests of many different countries including Vietnam, Laos, China, Thailand, and parts of Cambodia. This species is closely related to the slow loris, and they share this geographic range. Indeed, some scientists consider the pygmy slow loris to be similar enough to the slow loris to be considered a subspecies. However, most taxonomic classifications group them separately as distinct species.


Vulnerable primarily due to habitat destruction. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Pygmy Slow Loris Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


Pygmy slow lorises are found in the thickest vegetation of tropical rainforests. They are also found in bamboo groves.


Pygmy slow lorises are nocturnal and arboreal, foraging and hunting in the trees at night. These primates eat mollusks, insects, eggs, small mammals and vegetation. They catch live food by remaining motionless until surprising their prey with a quick strike with their hands.

Life History

Males' territory overlaps with a number of females'. All communicate with each other via calls and scent markings. They are slow to reproduce, creating just one or two offspring every year or two.

Special Adaptations
  • The pygmy slow loris' extremities contain storage channels for blood, enabling the primate to grasp a branch and remain motionless for extended periods.
  • Lorises can hang by their feet while eating with their hands. from branches.

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ARKive image - Infant pygmy slow loris holding onto leafARKive image - Infant pygmy loris clinging to branchARKive image - Infant pygmy loris twins on branch

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