Adults may reach a body length of 46cm (18 in) and a weight of 5.5kg (12 Ib).
Its tail is longer than its body, at up to 56cm (22 in) in length.
Habitat and Distribution
Like all lemurs, the ring-tailed lemur is native only to Madagascar, they are found in southern and southwestern Madagascar and ranging further into highland areas than other lemurs.
The ring-tailed lemur inhabits deciduous forests, dry scrub, montane humid forests, and gallery forests (forests along riverbanks).
Lifespan in captivity is about 30 years, and in the wild 16-19 years.
The ring-tailed lemur is an opportunistic omnivore (eats what is available), although it primarily eats fruits and leaves, However they are known to eat from as many as 36 different plant species, also includes flowers, herbs, bark and sap.
They have been observed eating decayed wood, earth, spider webs, insect cocoons, arthropods (spiders, caterpillars, cicadas and grasshoppers), and small vertebrates (birds and chameleons).
Groups and Breeding
The ring-tailed lemurs mate from mid-April to mid-May, with a gestation period of 135-145 days, having 1-2 offspring born in September.
The offspring are carried by the female ventrally (on the chest) for the first 1-2 weeks, then dorsally (on the back).
The offspring have a birth weight of 70g (2.5 oz), and begin to eat solid food after 2 months and are fully weaned after 5 months.
They are preyed upon by Madagascan boas, eagles and the fossa, but human activity is the greatest threat due to habitat destruction, with much of their range being cleared through annual burning to create pasture for livestock.
The Lemur’s trademark, a long, bushy tail, is ringed in 26 black and white rings. The tail always begins with a white stripe and ends with a black one.