Black-and-White Lemurs at Our Long Island Zoo

Long Island Black and White Lemurs

Black-and-white-ruffed lemurs are diurnal, most active during the day. They live in social groups made up of many males and many females, and the females are the dominate gender. Groups vary in size from two to 16 members, and these members can frequently change groups. They live primarily in trees and are excellent climbers and jumpers. They make sounds frequently, some to keep the group together, while others keep other groups away.

Ruffed lemurs are the largest of the lemurs — about the size of a large house cat. The body is nearly two feet long from head to rump, with a tail equally as long. The black and white ruffed lemur’s fur is thick, soft and fairly long. There is a lot of variation in the amount of black and white fur from lemurl to lemur. But in general, the tail, hands, feet, shoulder, face, and top of the head are black; the back, rump, hind legs, and ears are white.

The ruffed lemurs favorite food is fruit but they also have a taste for other food, including nectar, leaves, flowers, buds, fungi and soil. To find their food they forage in the treetops. If the food they want is out of reach from a standing position, they’ll dangle from their arms and legs in order to reach their snack.

Ruffed lemur females give birth to litters of up to six infants (two or three is more typical) in well-concealed, well-constructed nests 10 to 20 meters up a tree. When traveling with her infants a mother ruffed lemur will pick up her young and move them one at a time in her mouth.