Lemur catta


Ring-tailed Lemurs are unmistakable because of their long, vividly striped, black-and-white tail with grey-brown fur and white bellies

Ring-tailed Lemurs live in groups known as troops. These groups may include 6 to 30 animals but average about 17. Both sexes live in troops, but a dominant female presides over all.

Ring-tailed Lemurs have powerful scent glands and use their unique odour as a communication tool and even as a kind of weapon. Lemurs mark their territory by scent, serving notice of their presence to all who can smell. During mating season, male Lemurs battle for dominance by trying to outstink each other. They cover their long tails with smelly secretions and wave them in the air to determine which animal is more powerful.


Ring-tailed Lemurs are primates found only on the African island of Madagascar and some tiny neighbouring islands. Because of its geographic isolation, Madagascar is home to many amazing animals found nowhere else on Earth. You will find Lemurs in many terrains including Rainforests, riverside forests, dry scrub and open savannas.

Oakvale Distribution Maps Ring Tailed Lemur
Ring Tailed Lemur Distribution Map


16 - 19 years in the wild.

Ring-Tailed Lemurs are listed as Endangered on the IUCN list.


The Ring-tailed Lemur's body measures approximately 45 cm in length, not including the tail. The tail can measure longer than the body, reaching up to 60 cm in length. The Ring-tailed Lemurs weigh between 2.3 - 3.5kgs.


Out in the wild Ring-tailed Lemurs forage for fruit, which makes up the greater part of their diet, but also eat leaves, flowers, tree bark, small vertebrates and sap.


Found in arid, open areas and forests.


The females only mate for one or two days out of the year, usually in April. All the breeding females in a group will mate with a male within a few weeks of each other. They then all give birth around the same time August - September.


Ring-tailed Lemurs talk to each other using many different methods. Besides the common vocal ways many animals communicate with each other, Lemurs also rely on facial movement as well as scent they produce from their wrists and chests.


Ring-tailed Lemurs use their hands and feet to move nimbly through the trees, but cannot grip with their tails as some of their primate cousins do. Ring-tailed Lemurs also spend a lot of time on the ground – around 40% of their time! Which is unusual among Lemur species – there’s over 100 recognized species and subspecies!

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