Cyclopes didactylus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Pilosa Cyclopedidae

Scientific Name: Cyclopes didactylus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Silky Anteater, Pygmy Anteater
Spanish Inti Pelejo, Serafín, Serafín del Platanar
Taxonomic Notes: There are seven subspecies of Cyclopes didactylus (Gardner 2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-12-02
Assessor(s): Miranda, F., Meritt, D.A., Tirira, D.G. & Arteaga, M.
Reviewer(s): Abba, A.M. & Superina, M.
Contributor(s): Chacón, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Abba, A.M.
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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

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.
Countries occurrence:
Belize; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil (Alagoas, Amapá, Amazonas, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Pará, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins); Colombia (Colombia (mainland)); Costa Rica (Costa Rica (mainland)); Ecuador (Ecuador (mainland)); French Guiana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras (Honduras (mainland)); Mexico (Campeche, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Veracruz); Nicaragua (Nicaragua (mainland)); Panama; Peru; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of (Venezuela (mainland))
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

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).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

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).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Silky anteaters are sometimes captured and kept as a pet species in the country of origin.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): 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.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Cyclopes didactylus is present in a number of protected areas.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.7. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Yes
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
2. Conservation Planning -> 2.2. Area-based Management Plan
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Anderson, S. 1997. Mammals of Bolivia: Taxonomy and distribution. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 231: 1–652.

Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (comps and eds). 1996. 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Bhagratty, J., Taylor, K., Lawrence, A., Devenish-Nelson, E.S. and Nelson, H.P. 2013. Population density of silky anteaters (Cyclopes didactylus Xenarthra: Cyclopedidae) in a protected mangrove swamp on the island of Trinidad. Mammalia 77(4): 447-450.

Cabrera, A. 1957. Catálogo de los mamíferos de América del Sur: I (Metatheria-Unguiculata-Carnivora). Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales "Bernardino Rivadivia" e Instituto Nacional de Investigación de las Ciencias Naturales, Ciencias Zoológicas 4(1): 1-307.

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Chacón, P.J., Racero-Casarrubia, J. and Rodríguez-Ortiz, E. 2013. Nuevos registros de Cyclopes didactylus Linnaeus, 1758 para Colombia. Edentata 14: 78-84.

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Citation: Miranda, F., Meritt, D.A., Tirira, D.G. & Arteaga, M. 2014. Cyclopes didactylus. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T6019A47440020. . Downloaded on 26 September 2018.
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