Microcebus berthae Rasoloarison et al., 2000

Scientific name: 
Scientist name: 
Rasoloarison et al., 2000
English: 
Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur
Other english: 
Berthe’s Mouse Lemur
French: 
Microcèbe de Madame Berthe
German: 
Madame Berthe’s Mausmaki
Malagasy: 
Tsidy bitika an’ i-Berthe
Taxa: 

Species

Identification

Microcebus berthae is the smallest of the mouse lemurs and very likely the smallest primate in the world. It has a head-body length of 9–9.5 cm, a tail length of 13–14 cm, a total length of 22–23 cm, and it weighs only about 30 g (Rasoloarison et al., 2000). The dorsal coat is rufous with a distinct, darker midline stripe that extends from just behind the shoulders to the tip of the tail. The fur of the head is brighter than that of the back. The ventral coat is pale yellow-brown to pale gray in color. A dull white patch occurs above the nose, the region around the eyes is cinnamon, and the crown and ears are tawny. The ears are very short and the orbits are surrounded by a narrow black band. The furred portions of the hands and feet are dull beige. This species can be confused with the sympatric gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), which is only a little larger, and especially with young M. murinus, which are sometimes “parked” by their mothers. The most reliable characteristic is the warmer rufous back and flanks of Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur, but the difference can be difficult to confirm at night. If a small mouse lemur sits for any length of time, it may be a young “parked” M. murinus, rather than the very active M. berthae.