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Primate World Animal Fact Sheet
Lemur catta


The ring-tailed lemur is the only primate on Madagascar that makes extensive use of the ground, although the ring-tailed lemur will nest in the trees. When in trees, the ring-tailed lemur prefers broad, horizontal limbs. Its home range is larger than the range of any other lemur, measuring 15-57 acres. This may be shared with others or defended exclusively.

The very long tail of this lemur has alternating black and white stripes. The remainder of the body is a light brown or gray. This striking tail has two main purposes: 1) it is a visual sign, and 2) it is rubbed with the animal's scent and waved overhead during male ritualized fights with opponents. The ring-tailed lemur lives in groups of five to thirty individuals and females are dominant in the group. Females spend their lives in the group in which they were born while males make several transfers among groups.

Habitat: Deciduous forests, open and scrubby areas in north and south Madagascar
Diet: Fruits, leaves and flowers
Status: Near Threatened (IUCN)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: Weight: 5 to 8 pounds
Lifespan: 27 years
Reproduction & Offspring:

Gestation: 134-138 Days. Offspring: 1-2


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