Avahi laniger (Gmelin, 1788)

Scientific name: 
Scientist name: 
(Gmelin, 1788)
English: 
Eastern Woolly Lemur
Other english: 
Eastern Avahi, Gmelin’s Woolly Lemur
French: 
Avahi laineaux oriental
German: 
Östlicher Wollmaki
Malagasy: 
Fotsifé, Ampongy, Avahy, Fotsifaka
Taxa: 

Species

Identification

Avahi laniger has a head-body length of 27.7–32.2 cm, a tail length of 30.4–36.6 cm, a total length of 58.1–68.8 cm, and a weight of 1.0–1.4 kg (Glander et al., 1992; Zaramody et al., 2006; Andriantompohavana et al., 2007; Lei et al., 2008). This species is slightly larger and darker than Avahi occidentalis. It has dense short fur, tightly curled on the back. The dorsal coat is gray-brown to reddish, becoming paler towards the tail, which is a rusty- red. The chest and abdomen are gray. The face is brownish, with a lighter band or distinct patches above the eyes and lighter fur on the cheeks and throat. The ears are small and largely hidden by the thick fur.

The eastern woolly lemur is most likely to be confused with eastern rain forest species of Lepilemur, which also adopt a clinging posture when at rest, and, to a lesser extent, Cheirogaleus. Avahi can be distinguished from Lepilemur by its concealed ears and generally woollier appearance, its distinctive white thigh stripe, and by the fact that it is often seen huddled closely together with other group members, a behavior rarely observed in Lepilemur. Cheirogaleus is considerably smaller, does not employ the vertical clinging posture, is not a leaper (although it will occasionally jump from branch to branch), and has contrasting white underparts.