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Propithecus edwardsi A. Grandidier, 1871

Scientific name: 
Scientist name: 
A. Grandidier, 1871
Simpona, Simpony, Sadabe (Tsinjoarivo)
Milne-Edwards’ Sifaka
Milne-Edwards’ Diademsifaka
Other english: 
Milne-Edwards’ Simpona
Propithèque de Milne-Edwards



Propithecus edwardsi is a large dark sifaka. It has a head-body length of 42–52 cm, a tail length of 41–48 cm, a total length of 83–100 cm, and a weight of 5.0–6.5 kg (Glander et al., 1992; Lehman et al., 2005a). Its dorsal coat is dense and dark, varying from chocolate- brown to almost black on the head, upper body, limbs, and tail. Bilateral whitish patches of varying extent grade into the darker surrounding fur on the back and flanks, sometimes meeting along the spine. The ventral coat is equally dark, sometimes paler around the area of the chest, but less dense than the dorsal coat. The face is bare and the skin is dark gray to black, as are the ears that are barely discernible above the dark fur of the head. The eyes are orange-red. This species is very distinctive and cannot be confused with any other sympatric species.

In the past, some authors recognized another closely-related sifaka subspecies from the forests of Nandihizana, an animal described as Propithecus diadema holomelas Günther, 1875. It was all black in color except for a dark brown patch at the base of the tail. Tattersall (1986) regarded P. d. holomelas as nothing more than a color variant of P. edwardsi (formerly P. d. edwardsi). On the other hand, Groves and Helgen (2007) found that animals fitting the holomelas description were generally smaller in size, and preferred to keep the question of its validity open. Unfortunately, sifakas are now gone from this region and no similarly-colored animals have been found elsewhere, making it difficult to determine whether or not this animal is (or was) a distinct taxon.