Black and white ruffed lemur

Varecia variegata subcinta

black and white ruffed lemur 2
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Mammals
Order: Primates
Family: Lemuridae

We are home to a family group of black and white ruffed lemurs. Arriving in December 2020, the group consists of mum, Yhoda and her male triplets – Mavo, Maitso and Manga – who were born here at Newquay in April 2022. You can spot them on the Island opposite Café Lemur.

Black and white ruffed lemurs live in eastern Madagascar, in primary and secondary lowland, as well as mid-altitude rainforest. They are tree dwellers and are the most arboreal of the true lemurs.

These lemurs are frugivorous, meaning they mainly eat fruit in the wild, although nectar, flowers, leaves and seeds are eaten as well.   

Interesting facts!

  • The Black and white ruffed lemur is one of the largest lemurs and the second loudest primate after the howler monkey.
  • These lemurs use their bottom teeth, their “toothcomb”, for social bonding through grooming.
  • This species of lemur are the only primates to make a nest for their offspring.
  • Black-and-white ruffed lemurs are considered to be the world’s largest pollinator, dispersing pollen from the Traveller’s tree.


The black and white ruffed lemur is under threat by habitat loss as a result of logging, mining, agriculture, and other development. Being hunted for meat is also a threat to this rare primate, as unfortunately its daylight activity pattern and large size make it an easy target. It is one of the most heavily hunted lemur species in the country.