These tiny nocturnal lemurs include the smallest living primate in the world: Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur Microcebus berthae. They closely resemble the galagos, or ‘bushbabies’, of Africa’. Modern taxonomy has seen the number of recognized species increase dramatically from two to 18, and more species may yet be described.
Although mouse lemurs are occasionally found sleeping during the day (resembling tiny fur balls), most sightings are during the night, usually in the form of a pair of eyes bounding about the forest at remarkable speed. There is some variation in size and colour (from grey to rufous), but all mouse lemurs look very similar, especially with a typical night walk view.
Two species: Grey Mouse Lemur plus one other species (see below). Identification in these
cases can be very diﬃcult, but compared with Grey Mouse Lemur, Golden-brown Mouse Lemur
has warmer brown colour on its back and a longer tail; Grey-brown Mouse Lemur
has a rufous stripe along its back, and a more contrasting pale grey-and-rufous facial pattern; and Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur is smaller, with more rufous coloration.
VOICE: High-pitched, squeaky and rather rodent-like.
BEHAVIOUR: Feed mainly on fruit, supplemented with invertebrates and tree gum. Species that are well studied have been shown to give birth to 1–3 young from September to May.
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