Scientific Name:
Varecia variegata variegata

Conservation Status:
Critically Endangered

Where to see them:
The Living Treehouse, Ford African Rain Forest

Fun Facts:

The lemurs mainly use smell to communicate. They “scent-mark” by rubbing their bodies on branches to let others know they were there.

The name “lemur” means “ghost” in Latin. The first people to hear their loud calls thought they were ghosts in the forest.


 Black and White Ruffed Lemur

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Length is four feet (top of head to tip of tail); weight is 8 to 10 pounds.

Eastern Madagascar


Black-and-white-ruffed lemurs are diurnal (most active during the day). Lemurs live in social groups made up of many males and many females, and the females are in charge. Groups vary in size from two to 16 members, and these members can frequently change groups. They live primarily in trees and are excellent climbers and jumpers. They have many vocalizations; some keep the group together, while others vocalizations keep other groups away.

Black-and-white-ruffed lemurs are frugivores (eating mainly fruit), but they also eat edible plants and flowers. Zoo diet includes vegetables and a dry food containing vital nutrients.

Life Cycle
The black-and-white-ruffed lemur is one of only two types of lemurs to build nests for their young. Gestation is three months. Females typically have two babies, although they can have up to six. The babies stay in the nest and if the mother needs to move them, she carries them in her mouth. Black-and-white-ruffed lemurs can live up to 20 years.

Some of My Neighbors (IN THE WILD)
Other lemur species, flying fox, chameleons, geckos, Malagasy kingfisher

Population Status & Threats
Black-and-white-ruffed lemurs have few natural predators, but they are preyed upon by raptors, mongooses and fossa. The species is endangered primarily because of habitat loss as their forest habitats are clear-cut for logging and farming.