Tamandua tetradactyla (Pilosa), the lesser anteater, is a medium-size mammal from South America. Its wide distribution through different landscapes, solitary and nocturnal habits, and the difficulty to capture and contain specimens limit the amount of individuals and populations sampled during fieldworks. These features along with the lack of specific molecular markers for the lesser anteater might be the causes for paucity in population genetic studies for the species. Historical samples from museum specimens, such as skins, and non-invasive samples, such as plucked hair, can be supplementary sources of DNA samples. However, the DNA quantity and quality of these samples may be limiting factors in molecular studies. In this study, we describe nine microsatellite loci for T. tetradactyla and test the amplification success, data reliability and estimate errors on both historical and non-invasive sample sets. We tested nine polymorphic microsatellites and applied the quality index approach to evaluate the relative performance in genotype analysis of 138 historical samples (study skin) and 19 non-invasive samples (plucked hair). The observed results show a much superior DNA quality of non-invasive over historical samples and support the quality index analysis as a practical tool to exclude samples with doubtful performance in genetic studies. We also found a relationship between the age of non-invasive samples and DNA quality, but lack of evidence of this pattern for historical samples.