With stark opposing colors and a big bushy beard that stretches from ear to ear, the black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata variegata) is one of the more threatened lemurs.
As opposed to the indri which cannot stand confinement, the black-and-white ruffed lemur does remarkably well in captivity. Outside of Madagascar, the Duke University Primate Center houses the largest colony of these lemurs. It’s appearance and raucous, warbling calls makes it one of Madagascar’s most distinct lemurs.
JUST THE FACTS
Genus: Hapalemur, Prolemur, Lemur, Eulemur, Varecia
Taxonomy: 18 species, 4 subspecies
Size: Head and body length: 280-458 mm Weight: 0.7-4.5 kg
Appearance: Slender, thick wooly fur, fox-like faces, hairy ears, males and females are same size, medium cat-sized, long bushy tails, coat color varies among species
Habitat: Scrub, spiny desert, dry forest, gallery forest, semideciducous dry tropical forest, savanna, humid forest, primary forest, timber, cashew and coffee plantations, evergreen forest, bamboo
Diet: bamboo, stems, leaves, fruit, seeds, leaves, nectar, animal prey, mushrooms, sap, insects
Locomotion: Quadrupedal, terrestrial running, vertical clinging and leaping
Behavior: Variable social structure: ring-tailed lemur exhibits a social system unique to mammals in that all adult females completely dominate all males in their group, some species are diurnal, some arboreal and some cathemeral (activity is spread throughout both day and night), very vocal, scent mark, groom
CALLS AND CRIES