Aye-ayes have a head and body length of 14 - 17 inches and a long bushy tail measuring 22 - 24 inches. They weigh about 4 pounds. The coat is long and can be either dark brown or black in color, with white guard hairs. The face and throat are pale gray, and facial features include yellow-orange or sandy brown eyes surrounded by dark markings. Aye Ayes have large triangular ears, a short snout, and a pink nose. They have delicate fingers and their long middle finger is used for eating, drinking, and grooming. They use narrow, vertical, horizontal, or oblique branches to support them in locomotion. They are the largest nocturnal primate and use echolocation to find their prey. By tapping their fingers on the wood they locate the hollow chambers where grubs or other larvae
Location: Primate & Cat
The range of the aye-aye is Nosy-Mangabe (introduced population) and Madagascar, all but the southwestern corner.
Aye-ayes live in primary and secondary rainforest, deciduous forest, cultivated forest, and occasionally dry scrub forest and mangrove forest.
Primary ThreatsHuman-Wildlife Coexistence. Habitat destruction, with logging and hunting. Locally they are hunted for food
Gestation in aye-ayes takes 152 to 172 days.
Aye-ayes average one per litter.
Aye Ayes come out at night, as they are nocturnal and spend most of the daytime sleeping in nests in the upper two levels of the canopy. Individuals tend to sleep singly but may share a nest on occasion. Nests can be occupied by different individuals at different times. Activity begins half an hour before sunset and continues until three hours after. The males are usually active before the females. They spend the night foraging, feeding, and grooming. Aye-ayes can rest vertically or horizontally.
During mating cycles female aye-ayes typically mate with more than one male. Aye-ayes have an extended mating season from October through February. Female estrous cycles range from 21 to 65 days and are characterized by changes in the vulva, which is usually small and gray, and becomes large and red during these cycles. In the wild, most young are usually born between February and September. There is a two to three year interval between births.
They eat fruits, nuts, plant exudates, breadfruit, banana, coconuts, ramy nuts, bamboo, honey and nectar from the ‘tree of travelers,’ and mangoes. An important component of the aye-aye’s diet is insect larvae, especially cerambycid beetle larvae.