Varecia variegata variegata — Overview

Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur learn more about names for this taxon

IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

Brief Summary

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Black-and-white ruffed lemurs according to MammalMAP

Black-and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata) are endemic to Madagascar, and inhabit the eastern lowland to mid-altitude rain forests.

As the name suggests, this species of lemur is black and white in colour, and has a ‘ruff’ of long hair around the cheeks and under the chin. They have pointy muzzles and very long tails of about 60 cm long. Black-and-white ruffed lemurs are the largest extant members of the Lemuridae family, and can weigh up to 4.5 kg, females being larger than males.

Black-and-white ruffed lemurs feed almost exclusively on fruit, but their diet also includes flowers, nectar and leaves. They are most active during the early morning and late afternoon, and spend most of their day feeding high up in the forest canopies.

Females usually give birth to two or three young. Mothers build nests in the trees for their newborns, lining the nest with her own hair. Unlike other lemurs, black-and-white ruffed lemurs carry their infants in their mouth.

V. variegata is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Due to habitat degradation, it is believed that they have undergone a decline of over 80% during the past 27 years.

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