Eulemur rufifrons (Bennett, 1833)

Scientific name: 
Scientist name: 
(Bennett, 1833)
English: 
Red-fronted Brown Lemur
Other english: 
Southern Red-fronted Brown Lemur
French: 
Lémur à front roux méridional
German: 
Südlicher Rotstirnmaki
Malagasy: 
Gidro, Halo, Varikamavo (east)
Taxa: 

Species

Identification

Eulemur rufifrons is a relatively large brown lemur with a head-body length of 40–48 cm, a tail length of 45–55 cm, an overall length of 85–103 cm, and a mean body weight of 2.2–2.3 kg (Glander et al., 1992). This species is sexually dichromatic. In males the coloration is iron-gray above with a grayish-fawn underside; the crown is dark red and the tail black along part of its length. The digits are red. In females, the coloration is brownish olive-gray above with a whitish-red underside, a reddish head, and an orange-tipped tail. There is little gray above the eyes (Groves, 2001, 2006). All young are born with adult male coloration, the female infants undergoing a change into adult female coloration at 7–17 weeks (Barthold et al., 2009). This species may be confused with Eulemur rubriventer where the two are sympatric in the eastern rain forest. However, E. rubriventer can usually be distinguished by its redder coloration, the lack of white eyebrow patches, and by the prominent white tear-drop patches seen in males. A large hybridization zone with E. cinereiceps appears to be centered on the Iantara River (the headwaters of the Manampatra), near Andringitra National Park (Wyner et al., 2002; Sterling and Ramarason, 1996; Delmore et. al., 2009), and there is also an introduced population of this species (hybridized with E. collaris) inhabiting the Berenty Private Reserve in southern Madagascar. Finally, it can easily be confused with captive E. rufus, a species with which it was considered conspecific until quite recently.