This is the best-studied of the four Phaner species. It is found in tropical dry deciduous forests and can even survive in exotic tree plantations. Population density estimates derived from studies in the Kirindy Forest and from Marosalaza are consistent at about 50–70 individuals/km2 (Charles-Dominique and Petter, 1980), but Ausilio and Raveloarinoro (1993) estimated densities of 300–400 individuals/km2 in the forests of Tsimembo. Family groups, consisting of an adult pair and their offspring, occupy and defend territories ranging from 3–10 ha (Schülke, 2003a), but the adults spend very little time together (Schülke and Kappeler, 2003). The male has a large cutaneous throat gland (see Fig. 7.79), which he rubs on the head, shoulders, and the back of the female in a stereotypical manner during social grooming (Charles- Dominique and Petter, 1980; Ganzhorn and Kappeler, 1996). To avoid competition with other nocturnal lemurs, this species tends to use the highest sleeping sites, taking shelter in tree holes and leaf nests constructed by the sympatric Mirza coquereli (Kappeler, 2003; Schülke, 2003a). Phaner pallescens has an unusual diet with a high percentage of tree exudates. It is well adapted to its specialized diet, having a long tongue, an elongated cecum and nearly horizontal lower front incisors and canines that serve as scrapers. At Kirindy, two species of Terminalia trees provide the bulk of the exudates eaten by Phaner. Apparently, this food provides a good source of protein, to the point that invertebrate prey is not sought to the same degree that it is by other cheirogaleids (Hladik et al., 1980). Females appear to be dominant to males in terms of access to feeding sites. Predators of P. pallescens include the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox), the Madagascar Buzzard (Buteo brachypterus) and the Madagascar Cuckoo-hawk (Aviceda madagascariensis) (Rasoloarison et al., 1995; Goodman, 2003). Schülke (2003a) believes that Madagascar Harrier-hawks (Polyboroides radiatus) take Phaner from their sleeping holes, using their long legs to investigate hollow trees and crevices (Langrand, 1990; Gilbert and Tingay, 2001). Communication within and between groups is largely vocal and frequent. At least four different types of calls have been identified (Charles-Dominique and Petter, 1980). Females tend to be dominant in contacts with strange males from neighboring groups (Schülke, 2003a). Fork-marked lemurs generally leave their sleeping sites just before dusk and they are most active (including vocalizing) in the first hour after sunset. Early studies of Phaner reproductive behavior (Petter et al., 1971, 1975) suggest a much earlier onset of mating activities than those more recently observed by Schülke (2003a), but a single infant appears to be born during the austral summer.