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Red-bellied Lemur (Eulemur rubriventer)

Red-bellied lemur Mittermeier et al. [1994] report a body length for Eulemur rubriventer of just under 40cm. Mean body weight is 2067g for males (n=9) and 1960g for females [n=13; Glander et al., 1992]. The species occurs at low densities throughout most of the forested eastern escarpment [Petter & Petter, 1971; Tattersall, 1982; Jolly et al., 1984]. Population size has been estimated to be 10,000-100,000 individuals [Mittermeier et al., 1992], and the red-bellied lemur is classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN. In European zoos there were 140 E. rubriventer living as at January 2012. They are recorded in a European Studbook maintained by Mulhouse Zoo.

Red-bellied lemurs feed predominantly on fruits, but also on flowers, leaves and invertebrates [Meier, 1987; Dague & Petter, 1988; Overdorff, 1991]. Regarding their degree of frugivory and their feeding strategy, this species is probably comparable to the ruffed lemur.


Dague C, Petter JJ. 1988. Observations sur le Lemur rubriventer dans son milieu naturel. In: Rakotavao L, Barre V, Sayer J, editors. L’Equilibre des Ecosystèmes Forestiers à Madagascar : Actes d’un Séminaire International. Gland (Switzerland) and Cambridge (UK): IUCN.

Glander KE, Wright PC, Daniels PS, Merenlender AM. 1992. Morphometrics and testicle size of rainforest lemur species from southeastern Madagascar. Journal of Human Evolution 22:1-17.

Jolly A, Albignac R, Petter JJ. 1984. The lemurs. In: Jolly A, Oberlé P, Albignac R, editors. Key Environments: Madagascar. Oxford (UK): Pergamon Press. p 183-203.

Meier B. 1987. Preliminary report of a field study on Lemur rubriventer and Hapalemur simus (nov. subspecies) in Ranomafana-Ifanadiana 312 Faritany Fianarantsoa, Madagascar, July 1986 – January 1987. Unpublished report to Ministry of Scientific Research, Antananarivo.

Mittermeier RA, Tattersall I, Konstant WR, Meyers DM, Mast RB. 1994. Lemurs of Madagascar. Conservation International Tropical Field Guide Series. Washington (DC): Conservation International.

Moisson P, De Michelis S. 2008. European Studbook for the Red-bellied lemur (Eulemur rubriventer). Mulhouse (France): Zoo de Mulhouse.

Overdorff DJ. 1991. Ecological correlates of social structure in two prosimian primates: Eulemur fulvus rufus and Eulemur rubriventer in Madagascar. [dissertation]. Durham (NC): Duke University.

Petter A, Petter JJ. 1971. Part 3.1 Infraorder Lemuriformes. In: Meester J, Setzer HW, editors. The Mammals of Africa: An Identification Manual. Washington (DC): Smithsonian Institution Press. p 1-10.

Tattersall I. 1982. The Primates of Madagascar. New York: Columbia University Press. 382 p.