Dwarf and Mouse Lemurs, Cheirogaleus and Microbus

Physical Description: little or no differences between males and females

Dwarf height/weight: 26-50 cm/140 gr.

Mouse height/weight: 40 cm/15-90 gr.

Coat: brownish or grey, woolly

Skin: thin, membraneous ears, well developed facial and carpal vibrissae

Locomotion: leapers and climbers

Longevity: Dwarf lives in wild for around 4 years and as long as 13 years in captivity. Mouse lives from 10-15 years.

Geographic Location: Western and Southern Madagascar


Habitat: Biomes, tropical rain and deciduous forests

Home Range: live in ranges of no larger than 200 meters in diameter, some overlapping areas

Day Range: sleep in nests made of twigs and leaves located in tree tops or hollow tree trunks

Population density: high

Diet: Fruit,leaves: predominantly frugivores, also feed on flowers, nectar and insects.

Social Organization:

Group Size: The Mouse Lemur sleeps during the day in large groups consisting of females and their dependent offspring. Dwarf Lemurs sleep during the day in groups of 5 or so, both females and males. Both species forage at night alone. Extended harem system, limited polygyny.

Male/Female Dominance: female dominant gender, preferential treatment during foraging and choosing own mate

Territoriality: overlapping habitats

Foraging Party: solitary at night

Aggression: nonagressive


Birth Seasonality: mating begins in October

Male/Female Sexual Maturity: Dwarf reaches maturity at 2 years, mouse at 1 year.

Gestation Length: 61 days

Estrous Cycle for: 20 days

Litter size: Dwarf: 1-4 offspring, mouse: 2-3

Interbirth Interval: 1 year

Parental Care:

Dwarf Lemur: The offspring are dependent on their mothers for 3-4 months. After that they are weaned and are able to take care of themselves and forage alone.

Mouse Lemur: The offspring are dependent for about 2 months, then weaned and able to survive on their own.

Topics of Special Interest:

The dwarf and mouse lemurs are similar creatures, however there are a few differences which we have tried to indicate in the data sheet. The mouse lemur is one of the most adaptable primates, being able to survive in various different environmental conditions. The dwarfs are not as adaptable. Both species hibernate from May through Sept., the dry winter season when food is scarce. They store fat deposits in their tails during the other months in order to survive the winter seasons. The fat-tailed dwarf has the most unique thick tail among the species.

Bibliographic sources:

The Encycolpedia of Mammals, Edited by Dr. David Macdonald







| Concepts | Glossary | Primate Facts |
| Course Calendar | Assignments, Quizzes, Announcements | Course Home |
<< back to Mark Flinn Teaching