Ring-tailed Lemur

(Lemur catta)


Ring-tailed Lemur IUCN ENDANGERED (EN)


Facts about this animal

The ring-tailed lemur is easily recognized by its dense light grey fur, grey and white face with dark rings around the eyes, and black and white ringed tail. The head-body length is about 50 cm, and also the tail is 50 cm long. The weight ranges from 3.5 to 6 kgs. There is no marked sexual dimorphism.


Ring-tailed lemurs are social animals living in large groups averaging 18 members. Like in most lemur species, females are dominant to males.


Mothers give birth once a year and twins are not uncommon. Female offspring stay in their birth group while males leave when they are three to five years old.

Did you know?
That young ring-tailed lemurs are born with blue eyes that will gradually change colour as the animals mature?


Name (Scientific) Lemur catta
Name (English) Ring-tailed Lemur
Name (French) LĂ©mur catta ou Maki catta
Name (German) Katta
Name (Spanish) Lemur colianillado
Local names Malagasy: Maki, hira
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Not listed



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Range South and south-west Madagascar
Habitat Dry forst and shrubland
Wild population No precise data, estimated at 10,000-100,000 individuals by IUCN.
Zoo population 1869 reported to ISIS (2006)

In the Zoo

Ring-tailed Lemur


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 31 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Chester Zoo

Why do zoos keep this animal

Ring-tailed lemurs, being social, diurnal, and appealing looking, are a perfect ambassador species for the threatened fauna and habitats of Madagascar. The ring-tailed lemur is also a species which can be displayed in "Walk-thru" exhibits, allowing for close encounters between animals and people. The public should, however, not be allowed to feed the animals.