Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur
The Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur or Lesser Dwarf Lemur is endemic to Madagascar. The Western Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur (Cheirogaleus medius) is home to the dry forest in the west of the island. The Southern Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur (Cheirogaleus adipicaudatus) can be found in the moist evergreen forest of southeastern Madagascar.
With the size of a small rat, the Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur is one of the smallest primates. The body length is about 20-23cm and the tail meassures 20-27cm. Depending on the season, the body weight varies between 120 and 270 gram. The nocturnal lemur has large eyes with dark, black rings around. The fur is brownish-red or grey, with a complete white undersite and white feet. The Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur spends almost all the time in trees and moves by jumping with all four short legs.
The nocturnal lemur eats mainly fruits, but also flowers, seeds, insects and nectar. From time to time small vertebrates are on the menu.
Throughout the tropical, but dry and hot Malagasy winter, the Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur hibernates in tree holes for six months. During this time the lemur lives from fat stored in its tail until the next wet season. Unlike other hibernating animals the Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur is not able to control its body temperature, which will vary according to the outside temperature.
The Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur lives in small groups. Mating period is end of November, just after the winter sleep. After about 61 days the female gives birth to an offspring of 1 - 4.
Local name for the Southern Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur
Local names for the Western Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur
Matavirambo, Kely Be-ohy, Tsidy and Tsidihy
Species: C. medius