Silky anteater (Main population)
Cyclopes didactylus

C. didactylus occurs from Mexico (Veracruz and Oaxaca) throughout Central America. West of the Andes, it occurs from Colombia to southern Ecuador. East of the Andes, it can be found in 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). 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 subpopulation of C. didactylus on the northeastern coast of Brazil that is isolated from the main population by at least 1,000 km.


The silky anteater occurs in semi-deciduous and evergreen tropical moist lowland forest, gallery forest, and mangrove forest. It can be found in secondary forest habitat.


Not much is known about the wild populations of this nocturnal and arboreal species. Adults are solitary; the home range of a male overlaps the home range of three females (Montgomery, 1983, 1985a). The females give birth to a single young once per year.


Although general deforestation is taking place over many parts of its 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.


C. 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 threatened category.
This species is present in a number of protected areas.


Additional information and a complete list of references can be found in: Superina, M., F.R. Miranda, and A.M. Abba (2010): The 2010 Anteater Red List Assessment. Edentata 11(2): 96-114. This article is available here.

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