Mirza coquereli (A. Grandidier, 1867)

Scientific name: 
Scientist name: 
(A. Grandidier, 1867)
English: 
Coquerel’s Giant Mouse Lemur
Other english: 
Coquerel’s Dwarf Lemur, Southern Giant Mouse Lemur
French: 
Microcèbe géant de Coquerel
German: 
Coquerel’s Riesenmausmaki, Südlicher Riesenmausmaki
Malagasy: 
Tsiba, Tilitilivaha, Siba (Morondava), Setohy
Taxa: 

Species

Identification

Mirza coquereli is a small nocturnal lemur with a long body and a long tail. It has a head-body length averaging 25 cm, a tail length of 31–32 cm, a total length of 56–57 cm, and a body weight of 300–320 g (Pagès, 1978; Stanger et al., 1995; Kappeler et al., 2005). The dorsal coat is rich brown or gray-brown, but rose or yellow shades are often found as well. Ventrally, the gray hair base is visible beneath rusty or yellow tips. The tail, which is longer than the body, is thin but has long hair, giving it a slightly “bushy” appearance, and it is darker towards the tip. The large, evident ears, and its quadrupedal running, serve to distinguish Mirza from Cheirogaleus, which has more concealed ears and is slower moving. Mirza can be distinguished from sympatric Microcebus species by its much larger size and very distinctive ears, and from sympatric Lepilemur by its much smaller size, prominent ears, and more rapid quadrupedal movements. Lepilemur is usually far more sedentary and a vertical clinger and leaper, as opposed to a quadrupedal runner. In the Menabe region north of Morondava, and especially in the Kirindy Forest, Mirza is also sympatric with Phaner, another active, medium-sized, nocturnal lemur. There, it can be distinguished from Phaner again by its larger ears and shorter muzzle. Phaner also has a prominent forked pattern on its head, has very loud, distinctive vocalizations, and has a very distinctive habit of head- bobbing. It should be noted, however, that Mirza is highly active, often making it difficult to get a good look and confirm its identity.