Lepilemur leucopus is one of the smallest sportive lemurs, with a head-body length of 19–26 cm, a tail length of 22–26 cm, a total length of 41–52 cm, and a body weight of 500–700 g (Russell, 1977; Louis et al., 2006b; Garbutt, 2007). The dorsal coat, including the head, is pale gray tending toward brown at the shoulders, upper forelimbs, and upper thighs, while the underside is grayish-white and often conspicuous along the flanks and around the base of the tail, even when the animal is clinging to a vertical support. The tail is grayish-brown. The face is grayish-brown, and the eyes are marked by whitish spectacles. The ears are relatively large, rounded and have whitish tufts at their bases. This species is sympatric with Microcebus and Cheirogaleus. It is most likely to be confused with Cheirogaleus, but can usually be distinguished by its vertical clinging posture and tendency to leap from one support to another rather than moving quadrupedally along branches as dwarf lemurs do.
Lepilemur leucopus has been studied mainly in the gallery forest and spiny forest of the Berenty Private Reserve (Charles-Dominique and Hladik, 1971; Hladik and Charles-Dominique, 1974; Russell, 1977, 1980). Densities in both types of forest have been estimated at several hundred animals per square kilometer (Charles-Dominique and Hladik, 1971; Hladik and Charles-Dominique, 1974). Territories are small, much less than a hectare in size, and are defended by both males and females. The two sexes may sleep separately or together during the day, either in tree holes or liana tangles. In spiny bush forests, leaves of the spiny Alluaudia procera and Alluaudia ascendens trees are mainstays of the diet, with flowers providing supplementary food during the dry season. This is also the only lemur known to engage in cecotrophy (the ingestion of the extruded contents of its cecum, as practiced also by rabbits) to extract maximum nutrition from the food eaten (Charles-Dominique and Hladik, 1971).
The white-footed sportive lemur is found in spiny forest, gallery forest, and subtropical dry lowland forest (sea level to 300 m) in southern and southwestern Madagascar, from the spiny forest portion of Andohahela National Park in the eastern part of its range to the Onilahy River along the west coast (Petter et al., 1977; Tattersall, 1982; Sussman and Richard, 1986; Louis et al., 2006b).
There is insufficient information to determine the conservation status of L. leucopus, so the latest IUCN Red List assessment (2008) classified it as Data Deficient (DD). The principal threat is habitat destruction to clear land for pasture and the felling of trees for charcoal production. Protected areas in which it is known to occur include two national parks (the spiny desert portions of Andohahela and Tsimanampetsotsa) and the Berenty Private Reserve. Consideration should be given to the establishment of a new protected area toward the center of its range. As of 2010, this species was not being kept in captivity (I. J. Porton, pers. comm.).
The easiest place to see L. leucopus is in the Berenty Private Reserve, where it occurs in the gallery forest and spiny bush, and can be quite common. It may also be observed in the spiny forest patches of Andohahela National Park.