Cheirogaleus minusculus Groves, 2000

Scientific name: 
Scientist name: 
Groves, 2000
English: 
Lesser Iron-gray Dwarf Lemur
Other english: 
Large Iron-gray Dwarf Lemur
French: 
Grand Cheirogale gris-acier
German: 
Graufettschwanzmaki
Malagasy: 
Tsitsiha

Species

Identification

Cheirogaleus minusculus is one of the dwarf lemur species formerly considered to be C. major that was resurrected by Groves (2000). Groeneveld et al. (2009) did not have sufficient material of this form for their genetic analysis of the genus. The dorsal coat is iron-gray with brownish tones and a vague midline stripe. The ears are furred along the rims. The digits are white. It is intermediate in size between the larger C. major group and smaller C. medius group species.
In his revision of the genus in 2000, Groves considered populations from Ambositra to be a distinct species, the lesser iron-gray dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus minusculus), differentiating it from the greater iron-gray dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus ravus). As indicated above, we continue to recognize C. minusculus, but no longer consider C. ravus a valid taxon. This species is presently known only from a single museum specimen from the type locality, Ambositra, north of Fianarantsoa in east-central Madagascar. Groves (2000) believed that this is also the species recorded from the Bongolava Massif northwest of the type locality (Thalmann and Rakotoarison, 1994), but photographs from that region, shown recently to Groves by Urs Thalmann, indicate that this is not the case. It is possible that a further undescribed species exists on Bongolava (C. P. Groves, pers. comm.).