Tamandua tetradactyla


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Tamandua tetradactyla
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Southern Tamandua, Northern Tamandua, Collared Anteater, Tamandua, Lesser Anteater
French Tamandou À Quatre Doigts, Fourmilier À Collier, Tamandou Tétradactyle
Spanish Brazo Fuerte, Hormiguero De Collar, Oso Melero, Tamanduá, Tamandúa De Collar
Taxonomic Notes: There are four subspecies of T. tetradactyla (Gardner 2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-11-05
Assessor(s): Miranda, F., Fallabrino, A., Arteaga, M., Tirira, D.G., Meritt, D.A. & Superina, M.
Reviewer(s): Abba, A.M.
Contributor(s): Rogel, T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Superina, M.
Tamandua tetradactyla is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, its occurrence in a number of protected areas, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
2013 Least Concern
2006 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Tamandua tetradactyla is found to the east of the Andes from Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad Island, and the Guianas (French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname), south to northern Uruguay and northern Argentina. It ranges from sea level to 2,000 m Asl (Emmons and Feer 1990).
Argentina (Catamarca, Chaco, Córdoba, Corrientes, Formosa, La Rioja, Misiones, Salta, Santa Fé, Santiago del Estero, Tucumán); Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil (Acre, Alagoas, Amapá, Amazonas, Bahia, Brasília Distrito Federal, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraíba, Paraná, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondônia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Sergipe, Tocantins); Colombia (Colombia (mainland)); Ecuador (Ecuador (mainland)); French Guiana; Guyana; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Uruguay; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of (Venezuela (mainland))
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Tamandua tetradactyla is a relatively common species.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Tamandua tetradactyla is adaptable to a variety of habitats, including gallery forests adjacent to savannas, lowland and montane moist tropical rain forest (Eisenberg 1989), as well as mangroves (F. Miranda pers. comm. 2013). Typically, this solitary species has pale tan or golden fur with a black vest, but uniformly tan to black coloration also occurs (Wetzel 1985). Recent studies have shown that significant morphological differences exist between the subpopulations north and south of the Amazon River (F. Miranda pers. comm. 2013).
It mainly feeds on ants and termites, but also attacks bees nests to eat honey (Emmons and Feer 1990). The female gives birth to a single young once per year (Silveira 1968).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Tamandua tetradactyla is sometimes (inappropriately) used as a pet species or consumed. The skin is sometimes used to make leather products. Tamanduas that are found in the wild are donated or sold to private persons or zoos, and may be involved in animal traffic.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this small anteater, although in some portions of its range it is hunted for meat, by domestic dogs, or sold as a pet species (Aguiar and Fonseca 2008, Noss et al. 2008, D.A. Meritt Jr. pers. comm. 2010). Habitat loss and degradation, wildfires, and road traffic represent a threat in some areas. In Uruguay, T. tetradactyla is affected by habitat loss due to land use change (Coitiño et al. 2013).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Tamandua tetradactyla is present in a number of protected areas. Further systematic studies on T. tetradactyla are needed to investigate population densities and dynamics in different parts of its range. Studbooks for captive tamanduas exist in some range countries (Brazil: Projeto Tamanduá; international: ALPZA), and a population management plan has been established in AZA zoos.

Bibliography [top]

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Aguiar, J.M. and da Fonseca, G.A.B. 2008. Conservation status of the Xenarthra. In: S.F. Vizcaino and W.J. Loughry (eds), The Biology of the Xenarthra, pp. 215-231. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

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Coitiño, H.I., Montenegro, F., Fallabrino, A., González, E.M. and Hernández, D. 2013. Distribución actual y potencial de Cabassous tatouay y Tamandua tetradactyla en el límite sur de su distribución: implicancias para su conservación en Uruguay. Edentata 14: 23-34.

da Silveira, E.K.P. 1968. Notas sobre a história natural do tamanduá mirim (Tamandua tetradactyla chiriquensis J. A. Allen 1904, Myrmecophagidae), com referências à fauna do Istmo do Panamá. Vellozia 6: 9-31.

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Citation: Miranda, F., Fallabrino, A., Arteaga, M., Tirira, D.G., Meritt, D.A. & Superina, M. 2014. Tamandua tetradactyla. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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