Articles on this page are available in 1 other language: Spanish (17) (learn more)

Overview

Distribution

The Cyclopes didactylus can be found in forests from Southern Mexico to Bolivia. It can also be found in Brazil.

Biogeographic Regions: neotropical (Native )

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range Description

Cyclopes didactylus ranges from Mexico (Veracruz and Oaxaca) in the north, south into Colombia from where it ranges west of the Andes to southern Ecuador, and east of the Andes into Venezuela, Trinidad Island, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil (Acre state east to western Maranhão state), and as far south as Bolivia (La Paz and Santa Cruz) (Gardner 2007). The species has not been recorded from El Salvador and it is unclear if the species was ever present there. It has been recorded from sea level up to 1,500 m Asl. There is a population of C. didactylus on the northeastern coast of Brazil; it is evaluated separately due to its isolation from the main population.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Average mass: 266 g.

Average basal metabolic rate: 0.636 W.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Cyclopes didactylus inhabits the tree Ceiba, which has large seed pods that contain masses of a silky silverish fiber. This serves as an excellent camouflage for this tiny anteater, because the sheen of the pods and the silky fur of the anteater are almost identical. The silky anteater needs this protection becasue its predators include the harpy-eagle, eagle-hawks and the spectacled owl -- all of which have excellent vision. The silky anteater is arboreal and very rarely descends to the ground.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This nocturnal and arboreal species occurs in semi-deciduous and evergreen tropical moist lowland forest, gallery forest, and mangrove forest. It can be found in secondary forest habitat. The species seems to feed exclusively on ants; no termites have been identified in any dietary study of Cyclopes (Miranda et al. 2009). Adults are solitary; the home range of a male overlaps the home range of three females (Montgomery 1983). The females give birth to a single young once per year, usually in September/October (F.R. Miranda pers. comm. 2013).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

The silky anteater is strictly insectivorous. It feeds mostly on arboreal ants and termites (white ants), but has been known to occasionally eat coccinellid beetles (Best). The anteater will eat on average 100 to 8000 ants per day. Cyclopes didactylus is an oppurtunistic feeder that forages among the treetops and invades ants nests with its long sticky tongue.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life Expectancy

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
2.3 years.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Observations: While the average lifespan of these animals is below 2 years, it is likely they live much longer in captivity. One animal was kept for 2.3 years in captivity (Ronald Nowak 1999). Nonetheless, without further longevity studies, the maximum longevity of this species cannot be determined.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Joao Pedro de Magalhaes

Source: AnAge

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

Gestation of the silky anteater is between 120 and 150 days. It gives birth to a single young that the mother will place in a nest of dry leaves in a hole in a tree trunk. The young is raised by both parents, and the male sometimes carries the young on his back. Both parents feed the young by regurgitating semi-digested insects for it to eat.

Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual

Average gestation period: 135 days.

Average number of offspring: 1.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cyclopes didactylus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2014

Assessor/s
Miranda, F., Meritt, D.A., Tirira, D.G. & Arteaga, M.

Reviewer/s
Abba, A.M. & Superina, M.

Contributor/s
Chacón, J.

Justification
Cyclopes didactylus is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, its occurrence in a number of protected areas, its tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

History
  • 2013
    Least Concern
  • 2006
    Least Concern
    (IUCN 2006)
  • 2006
    Least Concern
  • 1996
    Lower Risk/least concern
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
Not much is known about the wild populations of C. didactylus. The population density has been estimated at 4.62-5.50 individuals/km2 in a mangrove swamp on Trinidad Island (Bhagratty et al. 2013).

Population Trend
Unknown
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Major Threats
Although general deforestation is taking place over many parts of the range, C. didactylus remains widespread in the Amazon Basin and there are currently no major threats to the survival of this small anteater. In some areas it is captured and kept as a pet species, although it usually does not survive long in captivity.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Cyclopes didactylus is present in a number of protected areas.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Silky anteater

The silky anteater, or pygmy anteater, (Cyclopes didactylus) is a species of anteaters from Central and South America, the only living species in the genus Cyclopes and the family Cyclopedidae. A single extinct cyclopedid genus, Palaeomyrmidon, known from the Miocene of Argentina, may be ancestral to the living species.[4]

Description[edit]

Silky anteaters are the smallest living anteaters, and have proportionately shorter faces and larger crania than other species. Adults have a total length ranging from 360 to 450 mm (14 to 18 in), including a tail 17 to 24 cm (6.7 to 9.4 in) long, and weigh from 175 to 400 g (6.2 to 14.1 oz). They have dense and soft fur, which ranges from grey to yellowish in colour, with a silvery sheen. Many subspecies have darker, often brownish, streaks, and paler underparts or limbs. The eyes are black, and the soles of the feet are red.[4]

The scientific name translates roughly as "two-toed circle-foot", and refers to the presence of two claws on the fore feet, and their ability to almost encircle a branch to which the animal is clinging. The claws are present on the second and third toes, with the latter being much the larger. The fourth toe is very small, and lacks a claw, while the other two toes are vestigial or absent, and are not visible externally. The hind feet have four toes of equal length, each with long claws, and a vestigial hallux that is not externally visible. The ribs are broad and flat, overlapping to form an internal armoured casing that protects the chest.[4]

They have partially prehensile tails.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Silky anteaters are found from Oaxaca and southern Veracruz in Mexico, through Central America (except El Salvador), and south to Ecuador, and northern Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. A smaller, isolated population is also found in the northern Atlantic Forest of eastern Brazil, and there are also silky anteaters on the island of Trinidad. They inhabit a range of different forest types, including semideciduous, tropical evergreen, and mangrove forests, from sea level to 1,500 m (4,900 ft).[2]

The seven recognized subspecies of C. didactylus are:[4]

  • C. d. didactylus Linnaeus, 1758 - the Guyanas, eastern Venezuela, Trinidad, Atlantic Forest
  • C. d. catellus Thomas, 1928 - northern Bolivia, southeastern Peru, western Brazil
  • C. d. dorsalis Gray, 1865 - extreme southern Mexico, Central America, northern Colombia
  • C. d. eva Thomas, 1902 - western Ecuador, southwestern Colombia
  • C. d. ida, Thomas, 1900 - western Brazil, eastern Ecuador and Peru
  • C. d. melini Lönnberg, 1928 - northern Brazil, eastern Colombia
  • C. d. mexicanus Hollister, 1914 - southern Mexico

Behaviour[edit]

A mounted specimen from the Natural History Museum of Geneva

Silky anteaters are nocturnal and arboreal,[4] found in lowland rainforests with continuous canopy, where they can move to different places without the need to descend from trees.[5] They can occur at fairly high densities of 0.77 individuals/ha, for example, in some areas.[citation needed] Females have smaller home ranges than males.

The silky anteater is a slow-moving animal and feeds mainly on ants, eating between 700 and 5,000 a day.[6] Sometimes, it also feeds on other insects, such as termites and small coccinellid beetles.[5] The silky anteater defecates once a day. Some of those feces contain a large quantity of exoskeleton fragments of insects, indicating the silky anteater does not possess either chitinase or chitobiase,[5] digestive enzymes found in insectivorous bats.

It is a solitary animal and gives birth to a single young, up to twice a year. The young are born already furred, and with a similar colour pattern to the adults. They begin to take solid food when they are about one-third of the adult mass.[4] The young is usually placed inside a nest of dead leaves built in tree holes,[5] and left for about eight hours each night.[4]

Silky anteater sleeping, Damas Island, Costa Rica

Some authors suggest the silky anteater usually dwells in silk cotton trees (genus Ceiba).[7] Because of its resemblance to the seed pod fibers of these trees, it can use the trees as camouflage[5] and avoid attacks of predators such as hawks and, especially, harpy eagles. During the day, they typically sleep curled up in a ball.[8] Although they are rarely seen in the forest, they can be found more easily when they are foraging on lianas at night.

When threatened, the silky anteater, like other anteaters, defends itself by standing on its hind legs and holding its fore feet close to its face so it can strike any animal that tries to get close with its sharp claws.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gardner, A. L. (2005). "Order Pilosa". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b Miranda, F., Meritt, D.A., Tirira, D.G. & Arteaga, M. (2014). "Cyclopes didactylus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2014-07-07. 
  3. ^ Linnæus, Carl (1758). Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I (in Latin) (10 ed.). Holmiæ: Laurentius Salvius. p. 35. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Hayssen, V., et al. (2012). "Cyclopes didactylus (Pilosa: Cyclopedidae)". Mammalian Species 44 (1): 51–58. doi:10.1644/895.1. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Bartoz, Suzy1; Cerda, Anthony (2009). "Silky Anteater". Benedictine University. Retrieved 16 Aug 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ Miranda, F., et al. (2009). "Food habits of wild silky anteaters (Cyclopes didactylus) of São Luis do Maranhão, Brazil". Edentata 8–10: 1–5. doi:10.1896/020.010.0109. 
  7. ^ "Silky Anteater". WildMagazine. Retrieved February 2012. 
  8. ^ Sunquist, M.E. & Montgomery, G.G. (1973). "Activity pattern of a translocated silky anteater (Cyclopes didactylus)". Journal of Mammalogy 54 (3): 782. doi:10.2307/1378984. 
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!