Lepilemur ankaranensis Rumpler and Albignac, 1975

Scientific name: 
Scientist name: 
Rumpler and Albignac, 1975
English: 
Ankarana Sportive Lemur
Other english: 
Ankarana Weasel Lemur
French: 
Lépilémur d’Ankarana
German: 
Ankarana-Wieselmaki
Malagasy: 
Valiha
Taxa: 

Species

Identification

Lepilemur ankaranensis is one of the smaller sportive lemurs, with an average head- body length of 22 cm, a tail length of 27 cm, a total length of 49 cm, and a body weight of 750–790 g (Louis et al., 2006b). The description that follows is based on specimens that had previously been assigned to Lepilemur septentrionalis, a species that evidently has a much more restricted range than previously believed (Ravoarimanana et al., 2004; Rumpler, 2004). The overall color is a light grayish-brown above with a gray underside. There is often a dark median stripe extending from the crown of the head along the spine, as well as brownish tinges in the shoulder region. The tail is pale brown, darkening towards the tip. The ears are less prominent than those of other Lepilemur species. This species might be confused in the field with Phaner or Cheirogaleus if only a fleeting glimpse of the animal is obtained, and also with Avahi even under good conditions. Its vertical posture, prominent ears, darker abdomen and leaping locomotion readily distinguish it from the smaller, more quadrupedal Cheirogaleus. Phaner has a distinctive fork-marked pattern on the forehead, a more elongated face, moves more rapidly and continuously, and produces distinctive, loud vocalizations. Avahi is similar in size and posture to Lepilemur, but has much smaller ears and distinct white patches on its thighs, and often huddles closely with other family members.