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Eulemur macaco (Linnaeus, 1766)

Scientific name: 
Scientist name: 
(Linnaeus, 1766)
Ankomba, Akomba Komba, Ankomba Joby
Black Lemur
Other english: 
Lémur Macaco



Eulemur macaco is a medium-sized lemur with a head-body length of 39–45 cm, a tail length of 51–65 cm, a total length of 90–110 cm, and a weight of 1.8–1.9 kg (Terranova and Coffman, 1997; C. Schwitzer, pers. obs.). This species is sexually dichromatic. In males, the dorsal coat varies from dark chocolate-brown to black. The ventral coat is similarly colored. The ears have prominent tufts of long black hair. In females, the dorsal coat varies from golden-brown to chestnut-brown, lighter on the flanks but darker on the tail. The ventral coat is typically creamy white on the abdomen grading to cinnamon on the chin, and this coloration may continue to just below the eyes and ear tufts. The face is gray to black, the crown a darker charcoal-gray, and the ears are tufted with long white hairs. The eyes of both sexes are yellow-orange to deep orange. The black lemur hybridizes with E. flavifrons throughout a large part of the Manongarivo Special Reserve between Maromandia and Ambanja (Meyers et al., 1989; Rabarivola et al., 1991; Goodman and Schütz, 2000). Populations in the Sahamalaza-Iles Radama National Park, just north of the Andranomalaza River, differ in fur coloration and the prominence of ear tufts compared to populations in the northern part of the range (Schwitzer and Lork, 2004). Eulemur macaco (and hybrids) is sympatric with E. fulvus on the Galoka, Manongarivo, and Tsaratanana Massifs, and in the Ifasy and Ramena river valleys, and with E. rubriventer on the Tsaratanana Massif (Tattersall, 1976b, 1982; Andrews, 1989; Birkinshaw et al., 2000; Goodman and Schütz, 2000). The black lemur can be distinguished from both of these congeners by its distinctive sexually dichromatic pelage and by the conspicuous ear tufts of both males and females.