Ring-tailed Lemur

Latin name Lemur catta
Class Mammals
Order Primates
Family Lemuridae
Habitat Dry forests
Distribution South and South West Madagascar
IUCN Status Near Threatened (CITES Appendix 1)

General Information

The long stripy tail of the ring-tailed lemurs is used for balance and as a way of communicating with each other. Males also use them in ‘stink fights’ when they rub their tails over the scent glands on their wrists, and then wave them threateningly at their opponent. Ring-tailed lemurs are omnivores, eating plants, fruit, insects, invertebrates and even small birds and lizards.

Threats: Habitat destruction, hunting
Lifespan: up to 27 years in captivity

Fun Fact

They have around 25 rings on their tails - 12 or 13 white and 13 or 14 black. Their tails are longer than their bodies.

Keeper Notes

Our three lemurs have Malagasy names: Soa (meaning ‘Beautiful’), Tahina (meaning ‘Blessed’) and Vikini (meaning ‘leap’). Soa, the female, leads the groups – in ring-tailed lemur societies, girls rule the roost!