Ring-Tailed Lemur

Lemur Catta

Scientific Name

Ring-Tailed Lemur:  
Lemur Catta

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

Like all lemurs it is endemic to the island of Madagascar. It inhabits gallery forests to spiny scrub in the southern regions of the island. The ring-tailed lemur inhabits southern Madagascar.

Natural Habitat

Endemic to southern and southwestern Madagascar, the Ring-tailed Lemur ranges further into highland areas than other lemurs. It inhabits deciduous forests, dry scrub, montane humid forests, and gallery forests (forests along riverbanks). It strongly favors gallery forests; The lemur is a forest dweller that can sometimes be found in thinly wooded territory.

Physical Characteristics

  • The ring-tailed lemur has a fox-like face and long arms and legs. They have gray body fur and a long, black and white striped bushy tail. The tail is longer than the body and is held aloft as a signal to other lemurs. The lemur has leather like palms and opposable thumbs as well as grooming claws on its hind feet. The eyes are large, forward-facing, with a brilliant yellow iris.

Quick Facts

  1. The eyes of a newborn ring-tailed lemur are blue, not the brilliant yellow of adults.

  2. The Ring-tailed Lemur is highly social, living in groups of up to 30 individuals.

  3. It is also female dominant, a trait common among lemurs.


Vanishing Animals South

Conservation Status

Critically Endangered: The Ring-Tailed Lemur is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

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In the wild, ring-tailed lemurs feed on wild figs, fig thistles and bananas. In human care, they are fed primate biscuits along with fruits and vegetables.