Red Slender Loris

The red slender loris (Loris tardigradus) is a small, nocturnal prosimian native to the Rainforests of India and Sri Lanka. Its body length on average is 7 to 10 in. (17.5 to 26 cm), with an average weight of a mere 3 to 13 oz (85 to 350g). It eats insects, lizards, bird eggs, and occasionally other invertebrates. They also feed on berries, leaves, and buds.

This loris is a small, slender primate with big forward facing eyes. These eyes are used for precise depth perception. The loris has a four-way grip on each foot. The big toe opposes the other 4 toes for a pincer like grip. This slender loris can even sleep holding onto branches. It has long limbs, a well-developed index finger, large ears and it does not have a tail. Its body has a dark grey color with a sprinkling of silver hair. They have a dark facemask. They also have a central pale stripe, much like the slow loris.

It forms small social groups, containing adults of both sexes as well as young animals. Typically, the adults hunt separately during the night, and the groups gather during the day to sleep. It makes its own nests out of leaves. It finds hollows of trees to live in or a similar secure place. This species takes part in mutual grooming each other, and also plays at wrestling. It may spend several hours at a time in the social groups, engaging in such activities.

Female red slender lorises are dominant. This is unusual for prosimians, and surprised researchers. The female reaches her sexual maturity at 10 months and is receptive to the male twice a year. This species mates while hanging upside down from branches. The individuals in captivity will not breed if no suitable branch is available. The gestation period is 166 to169 days after which the female will bear 1to 2 young. The young feed from her for just 6 to 7 months.

The Slender Loris is an endangered species. They are used as laboratory animals leading to reductions in wild populations. Habitat destruction is also a major threat.