NW Madagascar, Commoro Islands
Moist forests, canopy forest mixed with scrub and brush
Wild: Nectar, flowers, fruits and leaves
Zoo: Leaf eater diet, monkey chow, fruits and vegetables
Males are gray with pale faces, red cheeks and beard. Females have brown backs, dark faces, white cheeks and beards. They are 12-14 in. long with the tail 18-20 inches long. They weigh 4-4.5 lbs.
Behavior: Diurnal for the part of the year in which they feed on fruit and new leaves. In the dry season, when fruit and new leaves are not available, they become nocturnal and feed on nectar. When nocturnal they sometimes feed 80% of the time on a single species of tree. On Madagascar these lemurs live in small family groups consisting of a mated pair (which may remain together for many years) and their immature offspring. Occasionally older offspring remain with their parents for a time after puberty. On Comoros Island they live in larger unstructured groups with several males and females. Aggressive behavior is uncommon. Scent marking is very important sustained by rubbing branches with the crotch, forehead and hands. Unusual among primates, mongoose lemurs voluntarily share food with one another.
Reproduction: Mating is seasonal. Mothers will allow only other mothers to grooms their infants. Fathers play no part in infant care.
Did You Know?
Because of their gentle disposition, mongoose lemurs have been kept as pets.
Where in the Zoo?
I can be found in the Lemur Exhibits at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.