IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

Trophic Strategy

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Spectral tarsiers feeds exclusively on live animals. They primarily prey on flying insects such as moths, locusts, beetles and cicadas. They occasionally eat small vertebrates, such as lizards or bats. Spectral tarsiers listen with their independently moving ears to locate potential prey. Once a prey item is targeted, a tarsier ambushes its prey with a sudden lunge, grasps it with its long, slender fingers, and bites to kill it. The tarsier then returns to its perch to consume its prey. This form of ambush hunting requires excellent hand-eye coordination. Spectral tarsiers can collect their prey out of the air, on the ground, or off leaves and branches. Tarsiers can eat 10% of their own body weight every 24 hours, and they drink water several times throughout the night.

Spectral tarsiers appear to take advantage of the moonlight when foraging. This is an unusual behavior, as most small, nocturnal mammals exhibit lunar phobia as a predator avoidance mechanism. Tarsiers cope with this increased risk of predation by foraging in groups.

Animal Foods: birds; mammals; reptiles; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods

Primary Diet: carnivore (Eats terrestrial vertebrates, Insectivore )


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© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web


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