Zanzibar Galago (Galago zanzibaricus)

The average body mass for an adult male Zanzibar galago is around 159 grams, and for the female it is around 136 grams (Bearder, 1987).

The Zanzibar galago is found in Eastern Africa and in the countries of Mozambique and Somalia (Bearder, 1987). This species lives in lowland and coastal tropical forests (Bearder, 1987). The Zanzibar galago prefers to move around in the undergrowth level of the forest (Bearder, 1987).

The Zanzibar galago is primarily a carnivorous species, mostly eating arthropods, but it will also consume fruit (Bearder, 1987). This species sleeps in tree hollows during the day (Bearder, 1987). This is a semi-terrestrial and a nocturnal species.

The Zanzibar galago moves through the forest and on the ground quadrupedally (Bearder, 1987).

The Zanzibar galago has either a monogamous or a polygynous mating system, it varies amongst groups (Bearder, 1987). Basically males have territories that they share with one or two females which they visit each night, and during the day they will sleep together in the same tree hollow (Bearder, 1987). Males and females forage separately during the night (Bearder, 1987).


urine-washing: the Zanzibar galago takes its hands and cups them, and then deposits urine on them (Estes, 1991). Next the Zanzibar galago takes that urine and spreads it on the soles of the feet (Estes, 1991). When the Zanzibar galago walks now, it leaves a little bit of urine on the substrate (Estes, 1991). Males urine-wash more frequently than females do, and when the female is in estrus, the male will deposit the urine directly upon the female (Estes, 1991). A Zanzibar galago will urine-wash when foraging in a new area, looking at a strange object, during aggressive encounters, and social grooming (Estes, 1991).


nose-to-nose sniffing: the Zanzibar galago does this when first coming upon a conspecific (Estes, 1991). This is followed by nose-to-face contact (Estes, 1991).

nose-to-face contact: this occurs after nose-to-nose sniffing (Estes, 1991). An individual will touch the face of a conspecific with its nose (Estes, 1991).

social grooming: this behavior is not as developed in the Zanzibar galago (Estes, 1991). This behavior is basically regulated to reciporcal licking Estes, 1991). Each individual deposits saliva upon one another and sometimes urine (Estes, 1991).

This species usually gives birth to a single offspring, although twins are not uncommon.

Bearder, S.K. 1987. Lorises, Bushbabies, and Tarsiers: Diverse Societies in Solitary Foragers. In Primate Societies. eds. B.B. Smuts, D.L. Cheney, R.M. Seyfart, R.W. Wrangham, and T.T. Struhsaker. University of Chicago Press.

Estes, Richard Despard. 1992. The Behavior Guide to African Mammals. University of California Press.

Last Updated: October 7, 2003.
[The Primata] [Primate Fact Sheets] [Family Galagonidae] [Galago Links]