Weasel Sportive Lemur (Lepilemur mustelinus)

This species has binocular vision. The weasel sportive lemur has a large cecum. On the hands and feet are large digital pads used for clinging. This species has a pelage color which is brown dorsally and gray-brown ventrally and has a gray colored head (Jenkins, 1987; cited in Harcourt and Thornback, 1990). The average body mass for this species is about 1 kilogram (Harcourt and Thornback, 1990).

The weasel sportive lemur is found in the country of Madagascar. This species is found in Northeastern Madagascar and has a southern limit from the right bank of the river Lokoho to the coast (Ratsirarson et al., 1987).
Weasel Sportive Lemur

The weasel sportive lemur is primarily a folivorous species, but also will eat a small amount of fruits and flowers to supplement the diet. This species is also a cecotroph, which means it redigests its feces; it does this to help break down the cellulose in the leaves. This is an arboreal and nocturnal species. The weasel sportive lemur sleeps in tree holes during the dry season which are typically 6-12 meters above ground, and during the rainy season this species sleeps in bunches of leaves and lianes (Ratsirarson and Rumpler, 1988; cited in Harcourt and Thornback, 1990).

The weasel sportive lemur moves through the forest by vertical clinging and leaping (Fleagle, 1988).

The weasel sportive lemur has a social system where the basic group is composed of the mother and her offspring. The males live solitarily and have home ranges that overlap one or more females. This species has a polygynous mating system. He visits each female during the breeding season. Females will leave their infants on a branch when they forage for food. This is a highly territorial species, males will violently defend their territory (Fleagle, 1988).

loud call: This call is emitted by the adult male and is a crow-like call (Fleagle, 1988). This is used as a territorial call, used to demarcate a male’s territory and to advertise to other males that a male already occupies a certain territory (Fleagle, 1988).




The weasel sportive lemur gives birth to a single offspring.

Burton, Frances. 1995. The Multimedia Guide to the Non-human Primates. Prentice-Hall Canada Inc.

Fleagle, John G. 1988. Primate Adaptation and Evolution. Academic Press.

Harcourt, C. and Thornback, J. 1990. Lemurs of Madagascar and the Comoros. The IUCN Red Data Book. IUCN Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.

Jenkins, P.D. 1987. Catalogue of Primates in the British Museum (Natural History) abd Elsewhere in the British Isles. Part IV: Suborder Strepsirrhini including the Subfossil Madagascan Lemurs and Family Tarsiidae. British Museum (Natural History), London.

Ratsirarson, J. and Rumpler, Y. 1988. Contribution a L'Etude Comparee de L'Ecoethologie de Deux Especes de Lemuriens, Lepilemur mustelinus (I. Geoffroy 1850), Lepilemur septentrionalis (Rumpler and Albignac 1975). in L'Equilibre des Ecosystemes Forestiers a Madagascar, Actes d'un Seminaire International. eds. Rakotovao, L., Barre, V., and Sayer, J. IUCN Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.

Ratsirarson, J., Anderson, J., Warter, S., and Rumpler, Y. 1987. Notes on the Distribution of Lepilemur septentrionalis and Lepilemur mustelinus in Northern Madagascar. Primates. Vol. 28 (1), 119-122.

Last Updated: October 9, 2003.
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