Mirza zaza Kappeler and Roos, 2005 in Kappeler et al., 2005

Scientific name: 
Scientist name: 
Kappeler and Roos, 2005 in Kappeler et al., 2005
English: 
Northern Giant Mouse Lemur
Other english: 
Northern Dwarf Lemur
French: 
Microcèbe géant du nord
German: 
Nördlicher Riesenmausmaki
Malagasy: 
Tanta, Fitily (north of Ambanja)
Taxa: 

Species

Identification

Mirza zaza is the smaller of the two species currently recognized in this genus. Based on specimens from Ambato, it has a head-body length of about 27 cm, a tail length of 27–28 cm, a total length of 54–55 cm, and a body weight of 287–299 g (Kappeler et al., 2005). The dorsal coat is grayish-brown and the hairs are short. The ventral coat is gray. The hindlimbs are slightly longer than the forelimbs, and the tail is bushy and darker towards the tip. The ears are shorter than those of Mirza coquereli and are rounded.
Larger ears and quadrupedal locomotion help to distinguish M. zaza from Cheirogaleus medius, which has more concealed ears and is slower moving. It can also 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 usually being far more sedentary and a vertical clinger and leaper. Mirza zaza is also sympatric with Phaner parienti, another active, medium- sized, nocturnal lemur. Phaner has a prominent forked pattern on its head and has very loud, distinctive vocalizations. It should be noted, however, that Mirza is highly active, often making it difficult to get a good look to confirm an identification.