Microcebus rufus (Lesson, 1840)

Scientific name: 
Scientist name: 
(Lesson, 1840)
Rufous Mouse Lemur
Other english: 
Brown Mouse Lemur, Eastern Rufous Mouse Lemur
Microcèbe roux
Brauner Mausmaki, Östlicher Mausmaki
Pondiky, Antsidy Mena, Tsidy, Tsitsidy, Tsitsihy



Microcebus rufus is a relatively small mouse lemur with a head-body length of 12 cm, a tail length of 10.9–12.5 cm, a total length of 22.5–24.9 cm, and a weight of 39.5–47.9 g (Kappeler, 1991; Atsalis, 1999b; Louis et al., 2006a). The head and forelimbs are reddish- brown, blending into a grayish-brown dorsum and tail, and the underside is grayish-white. A black midline stripe runs the length of the back. The face sports a conspicuous white rostral patch that does not extend past the level of the eyes (Tattersall, 1982). The nose is slightly less prominent than in Microcebus murinus.
Petter et al. (1977) noted geographic variation in morphology (especially ear size) throughout the range of this species, and Groves (2001) suggested that northern specimens were darker and shorter-tailed than those from the south. Part of the variation that they observed can be accounted for by the identification of new species from within the large range once thought to be occupied by just this one species (see, for example, Louis et al. [2006a], and the descriptions of other new eastern mouse lemur species in this book).
This species can be distinguished from Cheirogaleus major, with which it is often sympatric, by its much smaller size and more rapid movements.