The Black and White Ruffed Lemur is one of the largest lemurs. Their body length can be up to 60 cms (2 ft) and the length of their tail can be the same giving them a total length of up to 1.2m (4 ft). They weigh 3.1 - 4.5 Kgs (7 - 10 lbs) and both males and females look the same. They have black and white markings with a mane or ruff of white fur around their neck and a dog like muzzle.
Black and White Ruffed Lemurs live in the rain forests of Eastern Madagascar. They live in the trees in small groups that consist of 2 - 5 members, these are usually the breeding pair and their off spring. They share a home territory that they defend from other groups.
Black and White Ruffed Lemurs mainly eat fruit, leaves, nectar, seeds, flowers and they have been known to eat soil.
Black and White Ruffed Lemurs mate for life and they are the only lemur to have litters - they will have 2 or 3 babies at once. The breeding season is from May to July and the gestation period is 90 - 102 days.
The female will build a nest where her babies will stay to keep them safe. At around 3 weeks old they will start to follow their mother and between 5 and 7 weeks they will be able to keep up with her. They will be weaned when they are between 4 and 5 months old.
Their main predators are boa constrictors, eagles and the fossa. The Lemur will let out a loud call to warn the others if it spots a predator.
There are three subspecies of Black and White Ruffed Lemur:
Southern Black and White Ruffed Lemur
(Varecia variegata editorum)
White-Belted Black and White Ruffed Lemur
(Varecia variegata subcincta)
Varecia variegata variegata
The Black and White Ruffed Lemur has the second loudest call of any primate, second only to the Howler Monkey.