Xingu silky anteater

(Cyclopes xinguensis)

other common names

Xingu 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 xinguensis, 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. The dorsum of this silky anteater is grey, its rump yellow, the belly pale yellowish, and the tail grey. There is an evident dorsal stripe, while the ventral stripe is indistinct and irregular.


The Xingu silky anteater is endemic to the eastern Brazilian Amazon region. Its northern, western, and eastern limits are probably the Amazon, Madeira, and Xingu rivers, respectively, while its southern limit of distribution is unknown.


No information is available on the reproduction of the Xingu silky anteater. Reference data for the genus Cyclopes suggest that the gestation length is 120–150 days.


Cyclopes xinguensis occurs in the Amazon rainforest. No data are available on the ecology of this arboreal species.


No information is available on the diet of this species, but it is presumably an opportunistic insectivore that mainly feeds on ants.


The threats to this species are unknown. It is probably affected by habitat loss due to the construction of hydroelectric dams. There is substantial environmental degradation within its restricted range due to the significant deforestation in this part of the Amazon. It is therefore fundamental to assess the threats that are affecting this species.

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.