International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 33–46 | Cite as

Diet and Feeding Behavior of Mysore Slender Lorises

  • K. A. I. Nekaris
  • D. Tab Rasmussen


We studied the feeding ecology of the Mysore slender loris (Loris lydekkerianus lydekkerianus) for 10.5 mo in a dry scrub forest at Ayyalur Interface Forestry Division, Tamil Nadu, South India. We recorded and analyzed 1240 feeding incidents, which indicate that the lorises were almost exclusively faunivorous, with 96% of all feeding events representing animal prey. Of prey items that could be identified (n = 605), 62.9% were ants and termites. Lorises fed on ≥9 orders and 17 families of insects, plus spiders, molluscs, and small vertebrates. Lorises infrequently fed on gums and a legume pod. They usually grabbed prey with one hand, while other appendages firmly held the substrate. Many of the identifiable prey items belong to insect taxa likely to contain toxic chemicals. Consumption of insects inferred to be toxic was accompanied by an elaborate behavioral repertoire of sneezing, slobbering and urine-washing. A high proportion of insects eaten by slender lorises (71%) occurred in patches or aggregations. The utilization of aggregated social insects may have implications for understanding the unusually high degree of gregarious behavior exhibited by the lorises.

insectivory gregariousness Lorisidae India Loris lydekkerianus 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. A. I. Nekaris
    • 1
  • D. Tab Rasmussen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyWashington UniversitySt. Louis

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