Black-and-white ruffed lemur

Critically endangered
Scientific name : Varecia variegata variegata

Where do they live?

In the tropical rain forests on the east of the island of Madagascar.

Did you know?

A cosy nest for the young.
One of their distinctive characteristics is that they put their young in a nest. Offspring are born totally blind and stay in the nest for several weeks. They do not cling to their mothers. When the mother moves from place to place, she carries the young in her mouth like a cat.

The black-and-white ruffed lemur is the largest of all the lemurs. They have all the characteristics specific to this family: a black nose with a highly-developed sense of smell, large eye sockets for better night vision, long limbs and a long tail that helps them move from branch to branch with ease. They communicate using loud vocalisations and groom each other with their teeth!
They live in groups of 5 to 20 individuals, dominated by several females. The lemurs are threatened by poaching and massive deforestation.


60 cm.


3 to 4.5 kg .

Life expectancy

15 - 20 years.

Gestation period

180 days.


1 to 3 offspring per litter.

Human-Animal Connection

A major role in their ecosystem

In the forests of Madagascar, the traveller's tree owes a lot to ruffed lemurs, who are its main pollinator. Ruffed lemurs put their long muzzle and tongue deep inside the flowers of the tree. The pollen collects on their nose and fur and is transferred to the next flower. This 12 m high tree wouldn't be much without our 60 cm tall lemur.