Black and white ruffed lemur

As its name suggests, the black and white ruffed lemur has black and white body fur.

They have white ruffs, or collars, around their necks.

Out of nearly 100 different types of lemur, there are only two which are ruffed – the black and white and the red. We have both types of ruffed lemur at Folly Farm. The black and white ruffed lemur can be found in the trees in the Madagascan rainforests. They live for up to 20 years in the wild.

Our black and white ruffed lemurs live next to our red ruffed lemurs, near to the Pride of Pembrokeshire enclosure and the meerkats.


The black and white ruffed lemur is critically endangered and is one of the breeding programmes we belong to.

The biggest threat to black and white ruffed lemurs, and many lemur species, is hunting for their meat and their habitat being destroyed, by cutting down trees. The Madagascan rainforest is shrinking and many different types of animal need the trees to survive.

Black and white ruffed lemur questions and answers

Where do black and white ruffed lemurs live?
They live in the rainforest on the East coast of Madagascar, an island just off the East coast of Africa. You’ll mostly find them high up in the trees, staying out of the way of their main predator – the fossa.

What do black and white ruffed lemurs eat?  
Black and white ruffed lemurs are frugivorous. That means they love eating fruit. When it’s really hot our lemurs like their fruit in an iced lolly which the zoo keepers make for them.

What is a group of black and white ruffed lemurs called?
We’ve heard all kinds of names for a group of lemurs. One of our favourites is a ‘congress of lemurs’.

What noise do black and white ruffed lemurs make?
Both types of ruffed lemur are very noisy. The sounds they make are like howls, barks and growls. Black and white ruffed lemurs can understand the calls of the red ruffed lemur even though they do not live amongst each other.


How many types of lemurs are there?
Too many to list! There are thought to be nearly 100 different lemurs. The most common colours are black, grey, white, brown and red-brown.

Are lemurs monkeys?
No they’re not. But they are primates. The primate order is made up of ‘apes’, ‘monkeys’ and ‘prosimians’ (that means ‘before monkeys’). Lemurs are prosimians which is why they are like monkeys, or rather, why monkeys are like them.

How many babies does a black and white ruffed lemur have?  
Black and white ruffed lemurs usually have two or three babies at a time. Ruffed lemurs are the only primates which build nests in trees for their babies. Most primates carry their babies around with them but ruffed lemurs leave them in the nest whilst they look for food.

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