Blue-eyed Black Lemur


Family

Lemuridae

Order

Primates

Class

Mammalia

Range

Northwestern tip of Madagascar

Habitat

Sub-tropical moist and dry forests

Life Expectancy

15 - 30 years

Sexual Maturity

2 years

Diet

Fruit, pollen, and nectar

Status

IUCN – Critically Endangered, CITES - Appendix I

Behaviors

Social Structure: Group sizes vary from four to eleven individuals on average. Females are dominant as in most lemur species, and there are usually more males than females in each social group. The blue-eyed black lemur is thought to be polygynous. Females give birth to one or two offspring in June or July, after a gestation of 120 to 129 days. The blue-eyed black lemur communicates with scent-marking, vocalizations,and perhaps some facial expressions. Scent marking is an important means of communication as with most lemur species. Both genders will mark on trees with anogenital glands, while males will also mark using wrist and palm glands by rubbing and twisting them against leaves, twigs or branches. Males also use a scent gland on the top of their head to mark, lowering their head and rubbing in quick sliding motions. Little is known of its vocalizations, but it has been observed making a variety of grunts, chirps, barks and clicks. The males are known to make a sharp 'scree' when distressed.

Adaptions

Scent glands on forearms are used to mark their tails and territory. The long tail is used for balance. Limbs are designed for leaping through the trees. The forelimbs are shorter than the hind limbs. Palms and soles of feet are bare and ridged to assure a firm grip in trees and on rocks. Hands have a pseudo-opposable thumb that allows lemurs to grasp items. Feet are equipped with psuedo-opposable big toes also for gripping. The second toe on each foot is equipped with a specialized “toilet” claw that is used during grooming. Dentition in lemurs is specialized for diet and mutual grooming. Central incisors are widely separated and lower canines project forward to form what is known as a dental comb. During grooming, this “comb” is used like a human comb to separate and clean between hairs. Black and white rings on the tail may serve as a visual communication tool when the troop moves through dark forest or open grassland areas.

Special Interests

Folklore

Conservation

Loss of habitat is the largest threat to Blue-eyed black Lemur.

Jacksonville Zoo History

Exhibit

African Forest Exhibit Area