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Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur

Join in the chorus!

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Black-and-white Ruffed Lemurs are excellent communicators, with most of the group joining in one chorus to amplify calls.

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.

Saving wildlife together: Perth Zoo partners with the Madagascan Fauna and Flora Group to conserve native species in Madagascar including the Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur. Read more.

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.

Primate Trail
Scientific name
Varecia variegata
Conservation status
Critically Endangered
Body length
50–55 cm
3.5–4.5 kg
90–102 days
Number of young
Eastern Madagascar

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Where you can find me

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