Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur

Black and white Ruffed LemurScientific Name: Varecia variegata
Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
Body Length: 50–55 cm
Weight: 3.5–4.5 kg
Gestation: 90–102 days
Number of young: 2

Distribution: Eastern Madagascar
Habitat: Rainforest

Description: Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur has a black and white coat or ‘pelage’ with white tufted ears, a long tail and bright yellow eyes.

Diet: Black-and-white Ruffed Lemurs are herbivores and eat fruit, nectar, seeds and leaves. They obtain nectar by using their snouts and tongues to reach deep inside the flowers.

In the wild: Black-and-white Ruffed Lemurs live in groups of 2–5 individuals but groups sometimes reach 30 members. Females form the core group, defend the territories and are dominant over males. Bonds are formed through grooming. Unlike monkeys and apes, these primates have modified teeth which they use to form a comb to groom the fur.

Threats: Lemurs are threatened by habitat destruction due to the expansion of the human population on the island of Madagascar. They are also hunted for food and the pet trade.

At Perth Zoo: The Black-and-white Ruffed Lemurs are located on an island in the Main Lake and in the Lesser Primates area.

Did you know? The word ‘lemur’ means a ‘night wandering ghost’ which refers to their stealthy, noiseless movement through the forest by night. However, these lemurs aren’t quiet when alarmed by predators. Their elaborate system of barks can be heard throughout the forest and alert other group members.

Download the Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur Fact Sheet (pdf).

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