Ruffed Lemur


Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur

Scientific Name

Varecia variegata


The black-and-white ruffed lemur is one of the larger species of lemur. They have a distinctive black and white patterning; large, vivid yellow eyes and a white ruff of fur that frames the face and gives this species its name.

They have a long thick tail which is longer than their body length. The tail isn’t prehensile, although it is vital for balance when climbing and jumping. Ruffed lemurs are one of the most vocal species of lemur. In groups, they produce deep, barking, alarm calls and they call with a wailing howl when defending their territory.

This species has developed a relationship with the traveller’s tree. The lemur pulls open tough bract to uncover pale, yellow flowers within. As it drinks the nectar, the plant’s pollen sticks to the lemur’s fur, this is carried with the lemur when it goes to the next tree. Consequently, they act as a pollinator and are thought to be the largest pollinator in the world!


They have a rich diet of fruit, seeds, leaves and nectar.

Size Fact

They weigh between 3 and 4.5 kilograms.

Food Fact

In the wild, this lemur loves nectar!

Fun Fact

They are one of the only primate species to build a nest for their young!

IUCN Red list

The black-and-white ruffed lemur is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Habitat loss and hunting are causing major issues for the species.

Where do I live?

The black-and-white ruffed lemur inhabits Eastern Madagascar.

Our animals

Our ruffed lemurs are called Lenny and Lorna. They act a bit like an old married couple as they are often bickering!

Adopt me


Meet me in real life

Yes. Primates and small mammal experience.




Date of Birth

March 2003.



Personality Traits

Lenny loves attention and affection from the keepers. He’s definitely the most affectionate of the pair. Lenny loves sunbathing and can often be found striking a pose in the sunshine!

Favourite Food

Sweet potato.




Date of Birth

June 2000.



Physical Characteristics

Lorna is slightly bigger than Lenny and has more grey on her tail and face.

Personality Traits

She is a little grumpy and a bit of a diva. Lorna certainly wears the trousers in this relationship! She also enjoys winding up the neighbours, the marmosets and the tamarins!

Favourite Food

Sweet potato.

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