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Hapalemur aureus Meier et al., 1987

Scientific name: 
Scientist name: 
Meier et al., 1987
Bokombolomena, Varibolomena
Golden Bamboo Lemur
Goldener Bambuslemur
Other english: 
Hapalémur doré



The golden bamboo lemur was first discovered in 1985, and was described two years later (Meier et al., 1987). With an adult weight of approximately 1.3–1.7 kg, it is the largest member of the genus Hapalemur, since the greater bamboo lemur (formerly H. simus) has now been placed in its own genus, Prolemur (see Groves, 2001). Head-body length is about 34 cm and tail length about 41 cm, for an overall length of 70–80 cm. The dorsal coat is reddish-brown; darker on the shoulders, back, top of the head and tail. The tail also darkens toward the tip. The ventral coat, including the inner limbs, is a paler golden-brown. A pink nose contrasts with the dark muzzle, which is surrounded by a ring of gold-colored hair on the cheeks and around the eyes. The ears are tipped with golden-brown hairs, but are not tufted. Hapalemur aureus is sympatric with H. griseus ranomafanensis in Ranomafana National Park, with H. meridionalis in Andringitra National Park, and with Prolemur simus in both of these protected areas. However, it can be readily distinguished from all of these taxa by its golden coloration, especially on the face. It is larger than the other two Hapalemur and smaller than Prolemur, and the lack of ear tufts also differentiates it from the latter. Molecular data support its inclusion in the genus Hapalemur (Pastorini et al., 2002a, 2002b).