Brown Lemur (Eulemur fulvus fulvus)

Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family:    Lemuridae
Size:    Length: 20 inches (50 cm) 
Weight: 5 to 5.75 pounds (2.3 to 2.6 kg)
Diet: Mostly fruit, leaves, flowers and sometimes bark
Distribution: Madagascar and Mayotte
Young:  1 young, once per year
Animal Predators:  Unknown
IUCN Status: Lower Risk, Near Threatened 
Terms: Group: Troop
Lifespan: 20 to 25 years in the wild



·       Brown lemurs are crucial in helping Madagascar forests regenerate, by eating fruit and excreting the intact seeds. 

·       Brown lemurs were introduced to the island of Mayotte, but the exact date of introduction is unknown.

·       The name lemur comes from the Latin word lemures, which means “ghosts.” 



Brown lemurs have brown or dark grey fur. Their face is dark, except for their light beard. There are five subspecies, each having their own special markings on the fur.   



Each group of brown lemurs has a range of 17 to 50 acres. They can be found in high mountain plateaus and scattered forests in western and central eastern Madagascar and on the island of Mayotte.  


Feeding Habits

Brown lemurs eat mostly fruit, leaves and flowers, but also sometimes bark. They do not drink often, as they get most of the moisture they need from leaves. To feed, they pull a branch to their mouth and eat directly from the branch. They rarely use their hands to directly handle their food.



Gestation lasts approximately four months, and young are born in the autumn. Each mother carries her newborn on her belly for the first three weeks. After that, the infant rides on her back. Around this time, young brown lemurs begin to eat solid food and are fully weaned when they are four to six months. Sexual maturity is reached at one to two years of age. 



Brown lemurs live in groups of three to 12 individuals in Madagascar, but as many as 29 on the island of Mayotte. The groups consist of both males and females. They spend most of their time in trees and are active by day, and sometimes in twilight. Lemurs groom each other to remove parasites as well as to form social bonds. Scent communication is extremely important to brown lemurs; a scent gland at the wrist is used to communicate information about location, physical state and identity. 



Forest destruction and hunting are the major conservation concerns for brown lemurs. The white-collared brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus albocollaris) is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN’s Red List, while Sanford’s brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus sanfordi) and the collared brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus collaris) are listed as Vulnerable. The white-fronted lemur (Eulemur fulvus albifrons), the common brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus fulvus) and the red-fronted brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus rufus) are listed as Lower Risk, Near Threatened. 



All the World’s Animals: Primates. Torstar Books, 1985

Life Nature Library: The Primates, Time-Life Books, 1980 

A Complete Guide to Monkeys, Apes and other Primates, Michael Kavanagh, Oregon Press Limited, 1983$narrative.html