Masoala forkcrowned lemur

Phaner furcifer

SUBFAMILY

Phanerinae

TAXONOMY

Lemur furcifer (Blainville, 1839), Morondava, Madagascar. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Phaner; German: Gabelstreifenmaki; Spanish: Maki ardilla.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Dorsal fur dark brown; ventral fur creamy. A dark, well-defined stripe runs up most of the back and divides just behind the head into two stripes passing across the otherwise paler crown, becoming continuous with dark eye rings. The face is blunt and the anterior premolars in the upper jaw are enlarged, giving the impression that there are two canine teeth on each side. Ears are large, rounded, and membranous. Tail very bushy; first half similar in color to dorsal fur and other half very dark. Nails on fingers and toes (except big toe) are strongly keeled with pointed tips. Length 9.4 in (23.5 cm), tail 14.2 in (35.5 cm); 16.5 oz (460 g).

DISTRIBUTION

Restricted to the Masoala Peninsula in northeastern Madagascar.

HABITAT

Evergreen rainforest.

BEHAVIOR

Usually solitary when active at night, but individuals are linked in social networks through overlapping ranges. Members of a pair maintain vocal contact during the night and typically sleep in the same nest during the day.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Specialized for gum-feeding from trunks of trees, but insect galleries may also be opened. Main diet is complemented with insects, fruits, and flowers (may be licked rather than ingested).

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

There is a tendency towards monogamy, with one adult male and one adult female often occupying a joint territory, but a male may associate with more than one female. Births occur in November-January. Ovarian cycle length about 15 days. Typically gives birth to a single infant. Gestation period unknown.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Lower Risk/Near Threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Sometimes eaten by humans, but otherwise of little significance. ♦

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