Lepilemur mustelinus I. Geoffroy, 1851

Scientific name: 
Scientist name: 
I. Geoffroy, 1851
English: 
Weasel Sportive Lemur
Other english: 
Greater Sportive Lemur, Weasel Lemur, Greater Weasel Lemur
French: 
Lépilémur
German: 
Westlicher Wieselmaki
Malagasy: 
Hataka, Trangalava, Kotrika, Fitiliky, Kotriana
Taxa: 

Species

Identification

Lepilemur mustelinus is a large sportive lemur with a head-body length of 26–30 cm, a tail length of 25–29 cm, a total length of 51–59 cm, and a weight of about 1 kg (Harcourt and Thornback, 1990; Louis et al., 2006b; Garbutt, 2007; Lei et al., 2008). The fur is rather long and dense, being a variable chestnut-brown dorsally, and often with a dark midline stripe. The face is gray or brown, the cheeks, throat and abdomen a bit lighter. The tail darkens toward the tip. There are also cases of bright orange L. mustelinus with populations of naturally colored members of these species. See, for example, Figure 8.16, which depicts an individual from the Anamalazaotra Special Reserve at Andasibe (G. Davies, pers. comm.). This species is most likely to be confused with the similar-sized Avahi, which also adopts a vertical clinging posture, and to a lesser extent with Cheirogaleus, which moves about quadrupedally. Closer observation will reveal that the weasel sportive lemur has prominent ears and lacks the white thigh patches of Avahi, and that it is significantly larger than Cheirogaleus and moves about by leaping.