Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata)
Black-and-white Ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata)
The ruffed lemur is the largest of the lemur family, and is divided into two very distinctive species; the black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) and the red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra). The two species are similar in shape, size, life history and behaviour but are different in colouration and habitat. The black-and-white ruffed lemur has, as its name suggests, a black and white pelage with white tufted ears, a long tail and bright, beady yellow eyes. The red ruffed lemur is a striking chestnut red colour, with a much more dense and luxuriant pelage, and a black coloured face, limbs and tail. Originally considered to be conspecific, recent genetic studies strongly suggested that these two forms merit distinction as separate species.