Ruffed Lemur







Black and white ruffed lemur scientific name: Varecia variegata

Red ruffed lemur scientific name:  Varecia rubra

Conservation status: Critically endangered

Life expectancy: 16-20 years in wild

Gestation period: 106 days


Lifestyle and Location:

  • They are the most frugivorous of all lemurs eating 74-90% fruit in their diet and can only be found in the wild in Madagascar.
  • They nest up in the top canopies to get the best fruit and escaping from predators such as the fossa.
  • The seeds of the fruit they eat come out as waste and helps with new plant growth in the rainforests ecosystem.


There are 2 species of ruffed lemur, one being the black and white ruffed lemurs with its three subspecies and the other being the red ruffed lemur. The faces are mostly black with furry ‘ruffs’ coming off from the ears to the neck, the red ruffed lemur’s ruff is a deep red and the black and white lemur’s ruff is white. They are 100-120cm and weigh between 3.1 and 4.1 kg.

Joss‘s Facts

  • These lemurs have a ‘toilet-claw’ (a specially designed claw used for grooming usually on the second toe) and a ‘toothcomb’ (teeth that are angled inwards) both used for grooming each other which strengthens the bonds in the group.
  • One of the only lemurs that builds nests for young
  • Prayed upon by fossa (an animal closely related to the mongoose)
  • They spend over half their day resting.
  • They live 15-20 meters off the ground !