Native (endemic) to the island of Madagascar.
A wide variety of forest types including rainforest, deciduous forest, dry scrub forest and mangrove forest. While once widely distributed in this variety of forest habitat, currently this species is found primarily in rainforests along the east coast of Madagascar as well as the deciduous forests of the west.
- Aye-ayes are 12-16 inches (30-40 cm) long.
- They have a bushy tail 18-22 inches (45-55 cm) long.
- They weigh 5-6 pounds (2.3-2.7 kg).
- Aye-ayes have coarse, shaggy black fur with a mantle of long white-tipped guard hairs.
- They have a round head, large triangular ears, yellow-orange eyes and a pink nose.
- They have long digits with long curved claws except for the big toes.
- Aye-ayes have a distinctive elongated middle digit with a longer claw.
- They have continuously growing incisor teeth.
What Does It Eat?
In the wild: Wood-boring grubs, fruits, nuts, nectar, seeds and fungi.
At the zoo: Folivore chow flavored with fruit, honey or peanut butter and a variety of fruits and vegetables, nuts, mealworms, sugarcane and tamarind.
What Eats It?
Aye-ayes are generally solitary except for mating pairs and females with offspring. They may tolerate others foraging nearby but females often demonstrate aggression toward other females. Both males and females establish and scent mark territories.
Both males and females reach sexual maturity at about 2-1/2 years of age. Females are only receptive to mating every 2-3 years due to extensive parental investment. Females advertise their receptivity with loud vocalizations to attract nearby males and will mate with several males during the estrus period. Aye-ayes mate for up to two and a half hours hanging upside down from a branch. A single offspring is born after a gestation period of 157-172 days, and births may occur throughout the year. Newborn aye-ayes are underdeveloped, weigh 3.2-5 oz (90-140 g) and spend their first two months protected in the security of the tree nest. Only the female cares for the infant. Young are weaned at about seven months but stay with the mother for up to two years before going off on their own. Lifespan in the wild is unknown but aye-ayes have lived 23 years in captivity.