SPECIES - Galagoides zanzibaricus (Matschie, 1893)
  • Description
  • Taxonomy
  • Calls
  • Distribution
  • Habitat
  • Conservation
  • References
z_zanzibaricusColor buffy grayish body where the tail has a darker zone occupying the terminal quarter at most. Belly is creamy gray and cheeks and throat are yellowish (Groves 2001). The advertising call is categorized as a rolling call (Grubb et al. 2003) specified as a single-unit rolling call (Honess 1996, Butynski et al. 2006) (compare with G. rondoensis double- unit rolling call).

Little is known about its feeding habits but field observations points towards a fruit and invertebrate diet. Due to its small size it is most likely that its staple food consist of invertebrates (Nekaris and Bearder  2007).

Body measurements:

  • Head and body: 140-150 mm, n = 8
  • Tail: 205-227 mm, n = 8
  • Weight:  80 g, n = 1 (note: juvenile individual)

Common name: Zanzibar Galago

Type locality: Zanzibar, Tanzania

Considered a subspecies to Galago sengalensis (Schwarz 1931) and referred to as G. senegalensis zanzibaricus (Groves 1974). Kingdon (1971) invigorated its specific status Galago zanzibaricus, further emphasized by Groves (1974). Olson’s (1979) reclassification of the family Galagidae placed it within the genus and subgenus Galagoides, now recognizing it as Galagoides zanzibaricus.  The population described as a new species Galagoides udzungwensis (Honess 1996, Honess and Bearder 1996) was relegated by Grubb  et al. (2003) to be synonymous with G. zanzibaricus (Grubb et al. 2003). Butynski et al. (2006) further elevated G. udzungwensis to subspecies of G. zanzibaricus. Presently considered a polytypic species G. zanzibaricus is now referred to as G. z. zanzibaricus (Zanzibar Island populations) and G. z. udzungwensis (Tanzania mainland populations).
Included are advertising calls (Rolling Calls) from both G. z. zanzibaricus (Zanzibar population) and G. z. udzungwensis (mainland Tanzania population) for comparison. The other calls are from mainland populations.

Rolling Call (mainland)

Rolling Call (Zanzibar)

Descending Shrieks

Quivering Chatter

Trembling Twitter

Squeaky Chitters

Yap and Descending Shrieks and Grunts

Yaps and Shrieks

All calls are used by kind permission of the NPRG Sound Library, Oxford Brookes University, U.K.
Found on Zanzibar (Butynski et al. 2008) and on Mafia Island (A. Perkin pers. comm. 2008) with the form udzungwensis recorded from lowland Udzungwa Mountains, Uluguru Mountains and the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania (Butynski et al. 2008).

Map: Pink areas illustrate the current estimated distribution of G. zanzibaricus. Suggested survey sites are marked with NPRG-logos and names.


Distribution polygon data compiled by Butynski et al. (2008). Shapfile downloaded from www.iucnredlist.org.

Found in mid to high canopy of tropical coastal forest, submontane and lowland tropical forest. Can be found in both primary and secondary forest and seems to have a preference for the latter (Butynski et al. 2008).

Picture: Kiwengwa Forest, Zanzibar. Juvenile G. z. zanzibaricus just released after genetic and morphometric sampling.

IUCN Category: Least Concern (ver 3.1)

Listed on Appendix II of CITES

Occurs in a number of protected areas. This species is threatened through the loss of indigenous forests by replacement with exotic conifers. It is presumably also threatened by a general loss of its forest habitat through conversion to agricultural land and timber extraction (Butynski et al. 2008).
Butynski TM, de Jong YA, Perkin AW, Bearder SK, & Honess PE (2006) Taxonomy, distribution, and conservation status of three species of dwarf galagos (Galagoides) in Eastern Africa. Primate Conservation 21:63-79.

Butynski, T.M., De Jong, Y., Perkin, A., Bearder, S. & Honess, P. 2008. Galagoides zanzibaricus. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 May 2012.

Groves CP (1974) Taxonomy and phylogeny of prosimians. Prosimian biology : proceedings of a meeting of the Research Seminar in Archaeology and Related Subjects held at the Institute of Archaeology, London University, eds Martin RD, Doyle GA, & Walker AC (University of Pittsburgh Press, [Pittsburgh]), pp 449-473.

Grubb P, et al. (2003) Assessment of the diversity of African primates. International Journal of Primatology 24(6):1301-1357.

Honess PE (1996) Speciation among galagos (Primates, Galagidae) in Tanzanian forests. PhD Thesis (Oxford Brookes University, Oxford).

Honess P & Bearder SK (1996) Descriptions of the dwarf galago species of Tanzania. African Primates 2:75-79.

Kingdon J (1971) East African Mammals (The University of Chicago Press, Chicago).

Nekaris KAI & Bearder SK (2007) The Lorisiform Primates of Asia and Mainland Africa - Diversity Shrouded in Darkness. Primates in perspective, eds Campbell CJ, Fuentes A, MacKinnon KC, Panger M, & Bearder SK (Oxford University Press, New York), pp 24-45.

Olson TR (1979) Studies on aspects of the morphology and systematics of the genus Otolemur. PhD thesis PhD Thesis (University of London, London).

Schwartz E (1931) On the African long-tailed lemurs and galagos. The annals and magazine of natural history, including zoology, botany, and geology, eds Woodward AS, Marshall GAK, Regan CT, Stephenson J, & Francis RT (Taylor and Francis, London), Vol VII, pp 41-65.