Black-and-white ruffed lemur

At the Detroit Zoo
Female Fleur arrived in 2008 and a year later, gave birth to twins, male Aloke ("shadow" in Malagasy) and female Alina ("night" in Malagasy). In 2010 she welcomed another daughter Kintana ("star" in Malagasy). Alina is the largest lemur and is described as "bossy" while the other three are characterized as sweet and loving. The four are highly vocal and, without notice, break into raucous roars. Don't let their wild calls fool you; the lemurs are gentle in nature and their calls are for the purpose of communicating with one another. These critically endangered tree-dwelling primates can be seen outdoors as well as indoors in their habitat that they share with the ring-tailed lemurs near the Japanese macaques.

The black-and-white ruffed lemur has long limbs and a long tail. Large patches of black and white color its coat. Thick tufted hair frames its face and bright yellow eyes.

Scientific name: Varecia variegata
Continent: Africa, only in Madagascar
Habitat: Forest and rainforest
Size: 23 inches long
Weight: 8 pounds
Diet: The black-and-white ruffed lemur is frugivorous, eating fruits, leaves, seeds and nectar.
Reproduction: Gestation 90 to 100 days; twins and sometimes triplets
Lifespan: 15-20 years in the wild; 25 years in captivity
Conservation Status: Critically Endangered



Lemurs get their name from the ancient Roman belief that they were ghosts, an idea spawned from their loud deep calls and howls and stealthy movements.

Unlike other monkeys and apes that groom with their hands, lemurs have evolved a “tooth comb” used primarily in grooming which enhances social bonds..