Ring-Tailed Lemur

Ring-Tailed Lemur Lemur catta

Type of Animal:

Deciduous forest, rainforest, sub-alpine forest, gallery forest, spiny bush forest, dry forest, dry bush, dry scrub, rock canyons, savanna, montane forest, arid open areas

S. & S.W Madagascar

Grey with distinctive striped tail and big eyes on white face. Also have whitish ears. Looks kind of like a raccoon.

Fruits, leaves, berries, vegetables, flowers, herbs, bark, sap, insect cocoons, decayed wood, grasshoppers, cicadas, spiders, caterpillars, chameleons, birds, bird eggs, small mammals

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & wildlife centers

Troops comprise of 13-15 lemurs, led by a dominant female.

Additional Info:


Male-5.5-7.7 lbs
Female-5-6.6 lbs
Young-3.04-9.92 oz

4.5 months

1.25-1.5 ft

Body Length:
1.25-1.5 ft

Life Span: 
16 years in wild, up to 25 years in captivity

Tail Length:
2 ft

Main predators are fossas, raptors, civets, snakes, domestic cats, domestic dogs, & crocodiles. Brown Lemurs prey on young.

Males often engage in ritualized “stink fights” during breeding season, sometimes w/ a few biting injuries.

When troop territory invaded, high-ranking females lead deadly battles against rival troop w/ help from other troop members. “Jump fight” strategy is used.

Declining in wild due to pet trade, deforestation, land conversion, habitat loss, hunting for fur/meat, & introduced predators.

Females sexually mature at 1.5 years old, males sexually mature at 2 years old.

Glands in tail used to mark territory.

One of the most vocal primates, using several different alarm calls warning of danger.

Flag-raised tails keep troop members together.

Fun Fact(s):
They’re fairly docile animals. Some zoos have walk-through exhibits with them.

This species was popularized by the movie Madagascar, in which Sacha Baron Cohen played a lemur named King Julian.

They’re very popular in zoos.

They love to sunbathe.

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