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 even give out a wailing howl when defending their territory.

This species has developed a relationship with the traveller’s tree. As the lemur drinks the nectar from its flowers, 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!


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

Size Fact

These lemurs weigh between 3 and 4.5 kilograms.

Food Fact

In the wild, this lemur loves nectar!

Fun Fact

These lemurs 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. 


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