Lemurs of Madagascar
- The Mouse Lemur ( microcebus sp. ) -

Trip to Madagascar, Ravo.Madagascar webmaster of Christian thought Mouse lemur or Microcebus sp, Madagascar

The Mouse lemur, ( Microcebus sp. ), is the smallest lemur in the world
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The Mouse lemur ( Microcebus sp. ), family of Cheirogalidae,

Is the smallest primates in the world. This species body length is less than 5 inches long ( Head and body length : 12 cm, Tail length : 13 cm ). Discrete and not so easy to find in the nature, this little mammal of Madagascar ranging from around 30 grams to 75 grams. Mouse lemur is strictly nocturnal and in the whole day, it sleeps in a hollow shaft or in a tree cavity.

Olfaction is particularly important to lemurs. Olfaction can communicate information about age, sex, reproductive status, as well as demarcate the boundaries of a territory. Small, nocturnal lemurs mark their territories with urine.

Mouse lemur can live 15 years and they are all « mouse-like » in appearance. At present the genus Microcebus contains 16 species ; the most common are the Grey Mouse Lemur ( found in the drier regions of the north, west and south of Madagascar ) and the Brown Mouse Lemur ( found in humid rainforest regions of the east of Madagascar ).

 

lemurs of Madagascar by Ravo.Madagascar
lemurs of Madagascar by Ravo.Madagascar

Madagascar : the Tsingy, Nosy Be area, Baobab
Here is the Black and white ruffed lemur

 

The Grey Mouse lemurs ( Microcebus murinus )

The Grey mouse lemur is the largest mouse lemur. Found in dry deciduous lowland forest, in spiny forest and in some degraded forests including plantations between Onilahy River ( south west of Madagascar ) and Ankarafantsika-Ampijoroa forestry station ( north west of Madagascar ). And also an apparently isolated and disjointed population near Mandrare River and in Andohahela National Park ( deep south of Madagascar ).

The Grey mouse lemur is nocturnal and omnivorous ( mainly fruit, flowers, nectar - so act as pollinators -, insects and secretions produced by insects, gum from Euphorbia and Terminalia trees, small treefrogs, geckos and chameleons ) ; largely solitary when foraging and occupies small home ranges of 1 - 2 hectares. They can be extremely abundant and females become totally inactive in dry season ( April to October ) to conserve energy and reduce predation. Gestation is about 60 days and birth occurs in tree hole or leaf nest.

The Grey mouse lemur predators include raptors and owls, carnivores like ringtailed mongoose, narrow-striped mongoose and fosa, also large snakes. Easy to see at Ankarafantsika-Ampijoroa forestry station, at Kirindy forest ( west of Madagascar ) and at Berenty private reserve ( south of Madagascar ).

 

 

The Brown Mouse lemur ( Microcebus rufus )

The Brown mouse lemur is a very small active lemur with long tail. Found in lowland and montane rainforests and in secondary vegetation and some adjacent plantations ( between Tolagnaro = Fort Dauphin ( deep south of Madagascar ) to Tsaratanana Massif ( north of Madagascar )). You can observe it too in marshes and reed beds around Lac Alaotra.

The Brown mouse lemur is too nocturnal and omnivorous ( mainly fruit - over 40 species eaten -, flowers, nectar - so act as pollinators -, insects and arthropods ) ; both solitary and gregarious. Both sexes lay down fat reserves in tail and other areas of body during wet season and become inactive during part of winter. Males prepare for breeding in mid-August. Mating occurs between September and November, and births from November to January.

The Brown mouse lemur predators include raptors, other birds e.g. Hook-billed Vanga and owls, carnivores like ringtailed mongoose and fosa, also large snakes. Easy to see at Nosy Mangabe ( north east of Madagascar ) and at Ranomafana National Park ( south east of Madagascar ).

 

 

Social systems of Mouse lemurs ( Madagascar )

Nocturnal lemurs are mostly solitary but social, foraging alone at night but often nesting in groups during the day. In many nocturnal species the females, along with their young, will share nests with other females and possibly one male, whose larger home range happens to overlap one or more female nesting groups.

 

Activity patterns of Mouse lemurs ( Madagascar )

In order to conserve energy and water in their highly seasonal environment, Mouse lemurs exhibit seasonal behavioral cycles of dormancy. They are ( with Dwarf lemurs ) the only primates known to do so. Prior to the dry winter season, when food and water are scarce, they will accumulate fat reserves in their hind legs and the base of their tail. During the dry season, they can exhibit daily and prolonged torpor.

Mouse lemurs have been observed experiencing torpor that lasts for several consecutive days, ( but Dwarf lemurs are known to hibernate for six to eight months every year ( May through September and more ) ) particularly on the west coast of Madagascar.

             

 

Trip to Madagascar, the Tsingy and Allee of Baobabs, Raharimanantsoa Pierrette webmaster of Christian thought
You can observe mouse lemurs nearby the Tsingy - Pierrette's picture ©

 

       

New species of world's smallest primate
( world's smallest lemur - 2007 ) :

Deep in the forests of Madagascar scientists have discovered new species of the world's smallest primate, the Mouse lemur. But the habitat these tiny creatures call home is now being threatened by mass deforestation. These are these new species of mouse lemur :

 

  • Danfoss Mouse lemur, Microcebus danfossi ( North west of Madagascar )
  • Bongolava Mouse lemur, Microcebus bongolavensis ( North west of Madagascar )
  • Lokobe Mouse lemur, Microcebus lokobensis ( North west : Lokobe special reserve )
  • Claire's Mouse lemur, Microcebus mamiratra ( North west : Lokobe special reserve )
  • Mittermeier's Mouse lemur, Microcebus mittermeieri ( North east of Madagascar )
  • Simmon's Mouse lemur, Microcebus simmonsi ( East of Madagascar )
  • Jolly's Mouse lemur, Microcebus jollyae ( South east of Madagascar )
  • Goodman's Mouse lemur, Microcebus lehilahytsara ( Andasibe-Mantadia National Park )
  • Madame Berthe's Mouse lemur, Microcebus berthae ( Kirindy forest : West of Mcar )
  • Northern Rufous Mouse lemur, Microcebus tavaratra ( Ankarana special reserve )
  • Sambirano Mouse lemur, Microcebus sambiranensis ( North north west of Madagascar )
  • Golden Brown Mouse lemur, Microcebus ravelobensis ( Forest around Lac Ravelobe )

 

Nevertheless, a lot of time can pass before an animal species is officially " baptized " with a scientific name. The road to obtaining an official Latin name is a long one -- filled with pitfalls and hurdles that involve a painstaking research process into the new species that ends with a peer-reviewed study published in a scientific journal. Only after other scientists review the research, corrections are made and it is successfully defended can the scientific baptism finally be completed.

 

 

- Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur -
( Cheirogaleus medius )

October 2014, I've seen with tourists in Ankarafantsika National Park during a nocturnal walk the Fat-tailed Dwarf lemur ( picture below ). Fat-tailed Dwarf lemur is a nocturnal lemur which lives in western dry deciduous forest. Fat-tailed Dwarf lemur is an omnivorous lemur which lives in small family group and diet consists of fruit, flowers, insects, gum, invertebrates, pollen and nectar. But the best season to observe it is in October / November because it becoming inactive for several months after to build reserve of fat in tail. The predators of Fat-tailed Dwarf lemur are Fosa, Barn Owl, Madagascar long-eared Owl, Madagascar Harrier Hawk and large tree boas. You can see it too in Kirindy forest.

 

Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur, Ankarafantsika National Park, Ravo.Madagascar
Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur
Ankarafantsika NP, Ravo.Madagascar

 

 

Madagascar Tour to see a lot of lemurs,

You will be very satisfy to see and to observe the following lemurs in their natural environment :

  • The Brown Mouse Lemur
  • The Grey Mouse Lemur
  • The Ring-tailed Lemur
  • The Golden Bamboo Lemur
  • The very rare Aye Aye nocturnal lemur
  • The fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur
  • etc.

Madagascar is the kingdom of lemurs, the kingdom of baobabs and the kingdom of chameleons.

Go there if you love nature. A minimum of eight (8) days trip through National Parks and private Reserves such as Lemurs’Park, Ranomafana National Park, Anjà private reserve, Kirindy forest, Ankarafantsika National Park, etc. With nocturnal visits and diurnal visits. With the famous Allée of Baobabs nearby Morondava at sunset.

With my experiences since ... 1993, I will give you excellent advice. To organise your trip and to guide you to make your trip pleasing and unforgetable. No one who visits the island is left unaffected either by the warmth and hospitality of the Malagasy people and its nature.

For more details thank you to contact me at :


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Trip to Madagascar, the Tsingy and Allee of Baobabs, Ravo.Madagascar webmaster of Christian thought

 

Clients' Testimonies after their trips in Madagascar :

       

• Erik Segers ( Belgium ) has written in « LinkedIn » :
If you want to discover Madagascar, Ravo is your man to organise your trip from A to Z. Thanks to his deep knowledge and boundless enthusiasm we had a truly first class visit of this wonderful island. Without a doubt, I do recommend, wholeheartedly.

 

Another person has said, always in « LinkedIn » :
Ravo is a professional guide who knows well his trade. He’ll face any situation with mastery and good humour, without seeking personal gain. At the end of the journey he has become a friend and he really deserves to be known for everyone’s benefit ( Sylvain Lefèvre - France )

 

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Trip to Madagascar, Traveller s tree, Ravo.Madagascar webmaster of Christian thought Trip to Madagascar, Fern tree, Ravo.Madagascar webmaster of Christian thought Trip to Madagascar, the famous Tsingy, Ravo.Madagascar webmaster of Christian thought

Always for Mouse Lemurs : Ranomafana, Andasibe, Tsingy Parks
Madagascar, a wonderland for nature lovers

 

 

 

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