The Grey Slender Loris of Sri Lanka
The Red Slender Loris (Loris tardigradus), listed as endangered by the IUCN is one of the two Loris species, the other one being the Grey Slender Loris (Loris lydekkerianus). It is a nocturnal, primate that is native to Sri Lanka and endemic to the central and south western wet zones of the island mainly found in wet lowland rain forests and tropical and evergreen inter-monsoon rain forests. This agile primate is a strange looking animal with large innocent looking eyes that stands out as its most distinct feature. It is rather small weighing between 103g and 172g with a body length of 11.6 – 17cms with reddish brown soft dense fur and extremely thin hands and legs which are well modified to climb through the tree tops in search of food.
The diet of the Red Slender is mainly insectivorous which is supplemented with fruits, berries, leaves, and plant parts. Being the most sociable nocturnal primates, they are seen in small groups, males, females and young ones playing and sleeping together, when not feeding. Being nocturnal they are mostly found resting hidden in leaf covered tree holes and other safe places during the day. The average lifespan of The Red Slender Loris’ living in the wild is between 15 – 18 years.