Black and White Ruffed Lemur

Black and White Ruffed Lemur

Scientific Name:
Varecia variagata variagata

Eastern Madagascar


Average Size:
Body Length: 27 inches
Body-Tail Length: 54 inches
Weight: 7 pounds

About 25 years

Population Status:

Wild: mostly fruit
Zoo: Monkey biscuits, various produce

Gestation: 90-100 days
Litter size: usually 2, occasionally 1 or 3

This largest of the extant lemur species is easily recognized by the black face and white ruff. The tail is longer than the body and is mostly black – some individuals have a touch of silver.

Unknown – likely predators: humans, dogs, raptors and fossas

Black and White Ruffed Lemur Map

About the Animal: All lemurs are ‘prosimians’ – ‘almost monkeys’.  They are relatives of the earliest examples of primates left in the world. Only on the island of Madagascar, in the absence of both modern primates and predators, were lemur species able to become diurnal/crepuscular and large – like the ruffed lemurs.

Black and White Ruffed Lemurs are an arboreal species that are capable of amazing leaps and acrobatics.  They most often live in extended family groups, with younger females assisting in the infant raising duties, including babysitting.

Like all lemurs, the Black and White Ruffed Lemur is an endangered species whose habitat is disappearing at an alarming rate.

Mating and Reproduction: ting in Black and White Ruffed Lemurs occurs in December to February.  The gestation for these lemurs is unusually short: 90-100 days.

Litters are most often comprised of 2 infants, which the female carries in her mouth, depositing them in a safe and convenient spot while she eats.  By the time the young are 5 weeks old, they are able to climb almost as well as an adult.

Amazing Information: Black and White Ruffed Lemurs are extremely vocal.  Using a variety of grunts, growls, growls and screams, they are in almost constant communication with one another.