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Temporal range: Miocene to present
Joseph Smit's Faces of Lorises (1904)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Strepsirrhini
Family: Lorisidae
Subfamily: Lorinae
Gray, 1821[1]
  • Lorisinae

Loris is the common name for the strepsirrhine mammals of the subfamily Lorinae[1] (sometimes spelled Lorisinae[2]) in the family Lorisidae. Loris is one genus in this subfamily and includes the slender lorises, Nycticebus is the genus containing the slow lorises, and Xanthonycticebus is the genus name of the pygmy slow loris.


Lorises are nocturnal and arboreal.[3] They are found in tropical and woodland forests of India, Sri Lanka, and parts of southeast Asia. Their locomotion is a slow and cautious climbing form of quadrupedalism. Some lorises are almost entirely insectivorous, while others also include fruits, gums, leaves, and slugs in their diet.[4][page needed]

Lorises, like most strepsirrhines, have a special adaptation called a "toothcomb" in their lower front teeth, which they use for grooming their fur and even injecting their venom.[5]

Female lorises practice infant parking, leaving their infants behind in trees or bushes. Before they do this, they bathe their young with allergenic saliva that is acquired by licking patches on the insides of their elbows which produce a mild toxin that discourages most predators,[4] though orangutans occasionally eat lorises.[6]

Taxonomic classification[edit]

The family Lorisidae is found within the infraorder Lemuriformes and superfamily Lorisoidea, along with the family Galagidae, the galagos. This superfamily is a sister taxon of Lemuroidea, the lemurs. Within Lorinae, there are ten species (and several more subspecies) of lorises across three genera:[1]


  1. ^ a b c Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 122–123. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ Brandon-Jones, D.; Eudey, A. A.; Geissmann, T.; Groves, C. P.; Melnick, D. J.; Morales, J. C.; Shekelle, M.; Stewart, C.-B. (2004). "Asian Primate Classification" (PDF). International Journal of Primatology. 25 (1): 100. doi:10.1023/b:ijop.0000014647.18720.32. S2CID 29045930.
  3. ^ Ronald M. Nowak; Ernest Pillsbury Walker (28 October 1999). Walker's Primates of the World. JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-6251-9. loris OR lorises.
  4. ^ a b Jurmain, Robert; Kilgore, Lynn; et al. (2008). Introduction to Physical Anthropology. ISBN 978-1337099820.
  5. ^ Nekaris, K A I (2014). "Extreme primates: Ecology and evolution of Asian lorises". Evol Anthropol. 23 (5): 177–87. doi:10.1002/evan.21425. PMID 25347976. S2CID 1948088.
  6. ^ "Orangutan Ecology". Orangutan Foundation International. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
  7. ^ Nekaris, K. Anne-Isola; Nijman, Vincent (2022-03-23). "A new genus name for pygmy lorises, Xanthonycticebus gen. nov. (Mammalia, primates)". Zoosystematics and Evolution. 98 (1): 87–92. doi:10.3897/zse.98.81942. ISSN 1860-0743. S2CID 247649999.

External links[edit]

Data related to Loris at Wikispecies