An aye-aye holding on to a tree


Aye-ayes are the largest nocturnal primate in the world. They are also the only primate thought to use echolocation, which they use to find insect grubs hidden 2cm deep inside a tree. During mating, aye-ayes hang upside-down on a branch, and the procedure lasts for about an hour.

Scientific name: Daubentonia madagascariensis

Rank: Species

Common names:

Aye aye

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Map showing the distribution of the Aye-aye taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Aye-aye can be found in a number of locations including: Madagascar. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Aye-aye distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Near Threatened

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Mammals
  5. Primates
  6. Lemurs
  7. Daubentoniidae
  8. Daubentonia
  9. Aye-aye

BBC News about Aye-aye

  • Last chance to see the aye-aye? One of the many repercussions of Madagascar's coup, which took place in March 2009, has been a dramatic rise in criminal networks plundering the country's protected areas for precious hardwoods and wildlife.

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • The wildlife of Life The wildlife of Life

    In autumn 2009, a major new series brought us life as we've never seen it before.

  • David Attenborough's Madagascar David Attenborough's Madagascar

    Like nowhere else on Earth, the mystery and magic of Madagascar leaves a vivid impression on all those who visit, and none more so than David Attenborough.

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