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Red-bellied lemur

Eulemur rubriventer

Red bellied lemur

Red-bellied lemurs are sexually dimorphic.  This means it is easy to tell males and females apart as they look different.  Males have white patches around their eyes and a red ‘belly’ whereas females have white stomachs and no eye patches.  Females are dominant over males, they take priority when feeding and it is the female who usually leads the group from place to place. Females carry their infants for their first 20 to 30 days but then give them to the males to carry for the next 100 days.

Animal class


Diet - Herbivore/Insectivore
Red-bellied lemurs eat ripe fruit but will also eat leaves, nectar, fungi and small invertebrates.

Body length is up to 400 millimetres (mm), with tails reaching up to 500mm. Lemurs can weigh up to 2.2 kilograms.

Red-bellied lemurs are found in the tropical forests of eastern Madagascar.

Conservation status
The IUCN believes the species faces a high risk of extinction in the wild. These lemurs are listed under Appendix I of CITES.

Slash and burn farming methods and illegal logging are destroying the red-bellied lemur’s natural forest habitat.
They are also hunted as food and for their skins and the live animal trade.

Current population
Their population is declining but there are still believed to be between 10,000 and 30,000 red-bellied lemurs left in the wild.

Zoo population
There is an ESB for red-bellied lemurs. There are currently 160 red bellied lemurs living in zoos around the world.

Keys to acronyms

IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature

CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

ESB - European Studbook

Related links

Our other lemurs