The Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata) is native to the island of Madagascar. It is a quadrupedal arboreal (tree living) mammal.
The Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur has black and white fur. Its stomach, tail, hands and feet, forehead, face, and crown are black. It is white on the sides, back, and back legs. It has a black nose, small ears, and bright orange eyes. Its tail is long, black, and bushy.
It grows to about 120 centimetres (45 inches) tall, making it the largest lemur (with the Red Ruffed Lemur).
The Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur is arboreal, living in trees in tropical rainforests of Madagascar. It is diurnal, active during the day. In the trees, and on the ground, it used quadruped locomotion – moving on four appendages (arms and legs).
It is frugivorous, which means that it eats mainly fruit. It also eats flowers, leaves, and seeds.
A colony of Black-and-White Lemurs is female-dominated – this is known as a matriarchal society. Reproductive females need more access to food so they establish a feeding priority. Female dominance in feeding means that there is some aggressive behaviour when they lead the group to food in order to have first access to it. Younger females do not appear to have aggressive and dominant behaviour.
Females are pregnant for about 102 days, before giving birth to 2-6 young. When the young are born, they cling to their mother. Both males and females will guard the young.
In captivity, Black-and-White Lemurs can live up to 36 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM