Red silky anteater

(Cyclopes rufus)

other common names

Red pygmy anteater


Order: Pilosa
Family: Cyclopedidae


Until recently, it was thought that there was only a single species of silky anteaters. However, a 10-year long investigation by Miranda et al. (2018) provided evidence that there are actually seven species of Cyclopes.

No specific data are available on the size of Cyclopes rufus, but assuming that it is similar in size to other silky anteaters, it would have a head-body length of around 20 cm, a tail of similar length, and it would weigh around 300 grams. Its fur color is unique; the dorsum has a distinct reddish tone, and the tail and limbs are more yellowish red. There are no ventral or dorsal stripes.


This species is endemic to eastern Brazil, where it occurs in the western Amazon basin, between the Rio Madeira and Rio Aripuanã. Its northern limit may be the Amazon river, but its southern limit of distribution is unknown.


The red silky anteater occurs in the Amazon forest. It has arboreal habits.


Its diet consists almost entirely of ants.


No information is available on the reproduction of the red silky anteater.


The threats to this species are unknown. It is probably affected by habitat loss, as its area of distribution suffers from environmental degradation and the effects of large hydroelectric dams. It is undoubtedly the area of greatest human occupation and deforestation in the Amazon.

Population trend


conservation status

The extinction risk of this species has not been assessed since the new taxonomic classification. Hence, it should be considered Not Evaluated.