Aye Aye

(Daubentonia madagascariensis)




Facts about this animal

The aye-aye is the largest nocturnal prosimian. It has a head-body length of about 40-50 cm and a tail length of about 50-60 cm. Body-weight is about 3 kgs. Its blackish coat is made up of both short and long, coarse straight hairs. Its head is short and it has very large ears. The incisors are highly developed and grow continually. The third finger, which is used to extract insect larvae from holes is long, slender and very dexterous.


Aye-ayes are nocturnal. They live generally solitary and spend the day in nests of leaves and branches that they usually build at the top of large trees.

Did you know?
That the aye-aye's survival is not only threatened by loss of habitat but also by local superstition? Some Malagasy people believe that the aye-aye brings bad luck and will kill any that they find. They also use dead aye-ayes to bring bad luck upon their enemies by leaving them in their enemy's front yard.


Name (Scientific) Daubentonia madagascariensis
Name (English) Aye Aye
Name (French) Aye-aye
Name (German) Fingertier, Aye-aye
Name (Spanish) Aye-aye
Local names Malagasy: Hai-Hai
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Tom Junek



Range Coastal areas of eastern and north-western Madagascar
Habitat Tropical forest and rainforest, cultivated areas
Wild population 1'000-10'000 (1994)
Zoo population 44 registered by the International studbook (end of 2004), 38 reported to ISIS (2005)

In the Zoo

Aye Aye


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 31 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Tom Junek

Why do zoos keep this animal

The aye-aye is an endangered species. With a view of building up a reserve population, an International Studbook has been established in 1992 under the WAZA umbrella, and a oordinated conservation breeding programme is are operated at the regional level by AZA. The aye-aye is the only representative of a highly specialized family of primates and is therefore also of major educational interest.