PIN welcomes primatologists who are working directly with species to send updates for our fact sheets any time, including sources. We also welcome all readers to send updates and sources for consideration: we will check with the experts before adding these updates. We advise readers to use our fact sheets as just one source of information and to always research additional sources.
Species: M. berthae, M. bongolavensis, M. danfossi, M. griseorufus, M. jollyae, M. lehilahytsara, M. mamiratra, M. mittermeieri, M. murinus, M. myoxinus, M. ravelobensis, M. rufus, M. sambiranensis, M. simmonsi, M. tavaratra
Other names: M. berthae: Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur, pygmy mouse lemur, Berthe’s mouse lemur; microcèbe de Berthe (French); tsidy (Malagasy); M. bongolavensis: Bongolava mouse lemur; M. danfossi: Danfoss’ mouse lemur; M. griseorufus: rufous-grey mouse lemur, red-and-grey mouse lemur; microcèbe gris-roux (French); tsidy (Malagasy); M. jollyae: Jolly’s mouse lemur; M. lehilahytsara: Goodman’s mouse lemur; microcèbe de Goodman (French); Goodman’s mausmaki (German); M. mamiratra: Claire’s mouse lemur; M. mittermeieri: Mittermeier’s mouse lemur; M. murinus: grey mouse lemur, lesser mouse lemur; microcèbe murin, cheirogale mignon, cheirogale nain, petit microcèbe (French); grauer mausmaki, maus zwergmaki (German); tsidy, koitsiky, titlivaha, pondiky (Malagasy); maki ratón, maki ratón gris, makisratone (Spanish); grâ musmaki, mindre muslemur, pygmémusmaki (Swedish); M. myoxinus: mouse lemur, pygmy mouse lemur; microcèbe pygmée (French); tsidy, malajira (Malagasy); M. ravelobensis: Lac Ravelobe mouse lemur, golden-brown mouse lemur; microcèbe doré (French); tsidy (Malagasy); guldbrun musmaki (Swedish); M. rufus: rufous mouse lemur, brown mouse lemur, russet mouse lemur; microcèbe roux (French); brauner mausmaki (German); antsidy mena, tsidy, tsitsidy, tsitsihy, kandrandra (Malagasy); maki ratón (Spanish); brun musmaki, röd musmaki, rödbrun muslemur (Swedish); M. sambiranensis: Sambirano mouse lemur; microcèbe du Sambirano (French); tsidy, tsitsihy, vokimbahy (Malagasy); M. simmonsi: Simmon’s mouse lemur; M. tavaratra: northern rufous mouse lemur, Tavaratra mouse lemur; microcèbe roux du nord (French); tsidy (Malagasy).
Total population: Unknown
Gestation: approx. 2 months
Height: 8.6 to 12.9 cm (M & F)
Weight: 30.6 to 71.1 g (M & F)
The taxonomy of the genus Microcebus is extremely fluid, with ten new species described since 2000 (Rylands 2007). Groves (2005) lists 8 species in the genus, however since his publication, seven new species have been described and are all here included as full species (Kappeler et al. 2005; Andriantompohavana et al. 2006; Louis et al. 2006; Olivieri et al. 2007). However, M. lokobensis is not considered a species due to its potential synonymy with M. mamiratra (Olivieri et al. 2007). Some researchers are hesitant to accept all new forms of mouse lemur and think that the number of new species may be exaggerated (Tattersall 2007; Sylvia Atsalis pers. comm.). This is likely to remain the case until the situation is made clearer through further research (Tattersall 2007). Generally, the best researched species to date are M. murinus, M. rufus and M. ravelobensis and less or little is known about the other species.
Mouse lemurs have a combined head, body and tail length of less than 27 cm (10.6 in) making them the most diminutive of the primates (Mittermeier et al. 2006; Ankel-Simons 2007). Among the mouse lemurs, the superlative goes to M. berthae, which is the world’s smallest primate (Dammhahn & Kappeler 2005). Mouse lemurs can be divided up into two groups based on their general overall fur coloration. M. murinus and M. griseorufus are generally grayish, while M. rufus, M. ravelobensis, M. myoxinus, M. berthae, M. sambiranensis, M. tavaratra, M. lehilahytsara, M mittermeieri, M. jollyae, and M. simmonsi are overall generally reddish (Olivieri et al. 2007). However, it is difficult to distinguish certain species apart purely by observation, and such species are discriminated from one another based on genetic differences and/or body measurements (Olivieri et al. 2007). There is some intra-specific variation in coloration in some species which further complicates the situation, and in some cases specimens that are very different in coloration have turned out to be the same species when investigated through other means (Heckman et al. 2006; Olivieri et al. 2007).
ll mouse lemurs have a white strip between the eyes (Olivieri et al. 2007). M. lehilahytsara is bright maroon, with a whitish ventrum and an orangeish back, head, and tail (Kappeler et al. 2005). M. rufus has a grayish brown back with a black stripe, reddish arms, grayish-white ventrum and a red-brown head. M. mittermeieri is red-brown or rust colored on its head and back with some orange on its limbs with a white-brown ventrum. M. jollyae is reddish-brown on its back and head and has a grey ventrum. M. simmonsi has dark reddish or orange brown fur on its back, arms, and head and has a grayish white ventrum (Louis et al. 2006). The color of the head of M. bongolavensis and M. danfossi varies with the individual but the back is orangish maroon, and the ventrum is creamy-white (Olivieri et al. 2007). M. mamiratra has a light reddish-brown back and tail, with a white or cream colored ventrum (Andriantompohavana et al. 2006). M. tavaratra has a reddish head, dark brownish back, and a whitish-beige ventrum. M. sambiranensis has a reddish back with a vaguely defined stripe and a whitish-beige ventrum (Rasoloarison et al. 2000). M. ravelobensis has a golden-brown or mottled-red back, with a yellow to white ventrum and a brown tail (Zimmermann et al. 1998; Rasoloarison et al. 2000). M. murinus has a grayish-brown to brownish-gray back, a beige or gray ventrum, and a stripe down the back. M. myoxinus has a red-brown back with a dorsal stripe and red-brown head markings. M. berthae is reddish, with a dorsal line and a head that is brighter than the rest of its coloration. M. griseorufus has a gray back with a cinnamon-brown stripe, reddish markings on its head, and a white ventrum (Rasoloarison et al. 2000).
Recorded head and body length averages are 9.0-9.1 cm (3.5-3.6 in) (M. lehilahytsara), 12.7 cm (5.0 in) (M. ravelobensis), 12.6 cm (5.0 in) (M. tavaratra), 12.3 cm (4.8 in) (M. griseorufus), 9.2 cm (3.6 in) (M. berthae), 11.7 cm (4.6 in) (M. sambiranensis), 12.4 cm (4.8 in) (M. myoxinus), 12.9 cm (5.1) (M. murinus) (Rasoloarison et al. 2000; Kappeler et al. 2005; Andriantompohavana et al. 2006). The average body lengths of M. rufus and M. mamiratra are 8.6 cm (3.4 in) and 9.4 cm (3.7 in) respectively (Andriantompohavana et al. 2006). Recorded body lengths of single individuals are 9.8 cm (3.9 in) (M. simmonsi), 8.2 cm (3.2 in) (M. mittermeieri), and 5.3 cm (2.1 in) (M. jollyae) (Louis et al. 2006).
The body mass of mouse lemurs is seasonally variable, but published body weight averages range from 39.6-48 g (1.4-1.7 oz) (M. lehilahytsara), 51.8-71.7 g (1.8-2.5 oz) (M. ravelobensis), 51.7-61.1 g (1.8-2.2 oz) (M. tavaratra), 43.7g (1.5 oz) (M. rufus), 44.1 g (1.6 oz) (M. mittermeieri), 43.7-62.6 g (1.5-2.2 oz) (M. griseorufus), 60.8 g (2.1 oz) (M. mamiratra), 30.6 g (1.1 oz) (M. berthae), 61.3 g (2.2 oz) (M. jollyae), 40.4-44.1 g (1.4-1.6) (M. sambiranensis), 45.2-49.0 g (1.6-1.7 oz) (M. myoxinus), 53.2-65.5 g (1.9-2.3 oz) (M. murinus) (Rasoloarison et al. 2000; Kappeler et al. 2005; Andriantompohavana et al. 2006; Olivieri et al. 2007; Atsalis 2008). A single adult male M. simmonsi individual weighed 77.8 g (2.7 oz) (Louis et al. 2006).
M. myoxinus is not sexually dimorphic in body size but shows a seasonal swap of dimorphism between males and females, with males consistently heavier than females during the reproductive season with the opposite true the rest of the year (Schwab 2000). A similar seasonal shift in sexual dimorphism of mass is seen in M. murinus (Eberle & Kappeler 2002). Body mass is seasonally variable in M. murinus as well (Fietz 1999). M. rufus do not show significant differences in body mass between the sexes (Sylvia Atsalis pers. comm.; Atsalis 2008).
Neither M. berthae nor M. murinus show sexual dimorphism of body size (Fietz 1999; Dammhahn & Kappeler 2005). M. myoxinus are not sexually dimorphic in body size but show a seasonal swap of dimorphism between males and females, with males consistently heavier than during the reproductive season with the opposite true the rest of the year (Schwab 2000). A similar seasonal shift in sexual dimorphism of mass is seen in M. murinus (Dberle & Kappeler 2002).
All mouse lemurs generally move quadrupedally; including running, but also leaping short distances, and some movement on the ground (Martin 1973). However, the usual mode of travel is quadrupedally on branches (Schmidt 2005). Some locomotor differences between mouse lemur species have been discovered. M. ravelobensis, for example, moves through its environment by leaping although M. murinus is predominantly quadrupedal; the differences are probably due to different body morphology, as well as different preferred forest strata (Zimmermann et al. 1998).
In captivity, mouse lemurs have lived over 18 years (Weigl 2005).
CURRENT RANGE MAPS (IUCN REDLIST):
Microcebus berthae | Microcebus bongolavensis | Microcebus danfossi | Microcebus griseorufus | Microcebus jollyae | Microcebus lehilahytsara | Microcebus mamiratra | Microcebus mittermeieri | Microcebus murinus | Microcebus myoxinus | Microcebus ravelobensis | Microcebus rufus | Microcebus sambiranensis | Microcebus simmonsi | Microcebus tavaratra
Mouse lemurs, like all other lemurs, are restricted to the island-nation of Madagascar off of the eastern shores of Africa. Between the reddish forms and grayish forms, reddish species (M. rufus, M. ravelobensis, M. myoxinus, M. berthae, M. sambiranensis, M. tavaratra, M. lehilahytsara, M. mittermeieri, M. jollyae, and M. simmonsi) tend toward small spatial distributions while grayish forms (M. murinus and M. griseorufus) have larger distributions (Olivieri et al. 2007). However, species distributions require further investigation and are incompletely known (Kappeler & Rasoloarison 2003).
M. bongolavensis is found between the Sofia River in the north and the Mahajamba River in the south in the northwestern part of Madagascar. The distribution of this species is delimited by the central Malagasy plateau in the east and by the Mozambique Channel in the west. M. danfossi can be found just north of M. bongolavensis, delimited by the Sofia River in the south and the Maevarano River in the north. The eastern and western limits are as in M. bongolavensis (Olivieri et al. 2007). M. rufus is reported from Ranomafana National Park and Mantadia National Parks in southeastern and eastern Madagascar respectively. M. mittermeieri has only been found at the Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve in northern Madagascar, whereas M. jollyae as only be found at the Mananjary and Kianjavato localities in eastern Madagascar. M. simmonsi has only been found in the Betampona Special Reserve and in the Zahamena National Park in northeastern Madagascar (Louis et al. 2006). M. mamiratra is known only from the island of Nosy Be, off the northwest coast of Madagascar (Andriantompohavana et al. 2006). M. ravelobensis is only found in the Ankarafantiska Nature Reserve in northwest Madagascar (Zimmermann et al. 1998). M. tavaratra is only known from the Ankarana Special Reserve in far northern Madagascar (Rasoloarison et al. 2000). M. sambiranensis is only known from Manongarivo Special Reserve in northern Madagascar (Rasoloarison et al. 2000). While not well defined, the M. murinus distribution is wide, roughly stretching in the west of Madagascar from Ankarafantsika National Park south to the Onilahy River, with another pocket of inhabitance in the southeastern tip of the island in the Mandena Conservation Zone (Mittermeier et al. 2006). M. myoxinus is found between the Tsiribihina River and the Soalala Peninsula in northwestern Madagascar. M. berthae is found around the Kirindy/CFPF Forest and perhaps further north in western Madagascar. M. griseorufus inhabits the area around Toliara in southwestern Madagascar north to Lamboharana and may range further south and southeast (Rasoloarison et al. 2000). M. lehilahytsara has only been found at Andasibe and Mantadia National Park in eastern Madagascar (Kappeler et al. 2005). Finally, M. simmonsi has been found only at the Betampona Special Reserve and in the Zahamena National Park in eastern Madagascar (Louis et al. 2006).
In general, all types of forest habitat on Madagascar are called home by mouse lemurs, including forests altered by humans (Kappeler & Rasoloarison 2003; Radespiel 2006). Types of forest in which different species of mouse lemur are found include evergreen littoral, dry deciduous, transitional, gallery, arid spiny, sub-arid thorn scrub, thick scrub, spiny, mangrove, sub-humid, partially evergreen, lowland, lowland and montane tropical humid, and mosaic. They have also been found in old eucalyptus plantations with undergrowth (compiled from the literature by Radespiel 2006). Some species are found in several habitat types, whereas others are found in only one type, although data on restricted habitat use can sometimes be the result of a lack of research (Radespiel 2006; for habitat use by species see Radespiel 2006:214). Mouse lemurs can be found from sea level up to almost 2000 m (reviewed by Radespiel 2006).
At one long-term study site of M. rufus at Ranomafana National Park in southeastern Madagascar, average annual rainfall was 448.5 cm (176.6 in) with average monthly lows of 13.1°C (55.6°F) and average monthly highs of 22.5°C (72.5°F) (Atsalis 2008). However, monthly variation in precipitation was seen at this site, with a wet season (December-March) during which more rain fell than during the dry season (April-November). At a different study site of sympatric M. ravelobensis and M. murinus in northwestern Madagascar at the Ampijoroa Forestry Reserve, average monthly temperatures ranged from 16°C (60.8 °F) (June-July) to 37°C (98.6 °F) (October-November) with an overall annual average temperature of 27°C (80.6°F) (Rendigs et al. 2003).
Omnivorous food choice is characteristic of all species of mouse lemur and generally, diets are diverse and change depending on the season (Radespiel 2006; Atsalis 2008). For example, foods that are consumed by M. murinus include insect secretions, arthropods, small vertebrates, gum, fruit, flowers, nectar, and also leaves and buds (literature compiled by Radespiel 2006; Radespiel et al. 2006; Lahann 2007). Gums, but also sugary secretions of insects, are extremely important in mouse lemur diets, especially the diets of mouse lemurs living in dry forests (Atsalis 2008). The diets of M. rufus and M. ravelobensis are both similar to the diet of M. murinus (Gould & Sauther 2007). At the only long-term study site of M. rufus diet at the Ranomafana National Park, the species was highly frugivorous, consuming an estimated minimum of 64 kinds of fruit but also members of 9 different orders of insect (Atsalis 1999; 2008). In the same study of mouse lemur diet (M. rufus) to date, fruit of the mistletoe (Bakerella) was found to be a diet staple for the species, and was a keystone food used to get through times of resource scarcity (Atsalis 2008). At this study site, a seasonal change in diet is seen at the end of the rainy season and the early ensuing dry season when there is a significant increase in the number of types and quantities of fruits eaten. Data on the diet of M. berthae is limited, but preliminary data indicates that the species eats mostly animal matter and insect secretions (Dammhahn & Kappeler 2006). Also, where more than one species of mouse lemur are sympatric, diets can be considerably different between the species (Dammhahn & Kappeler 2006; Atsalis 2008).
All mouse lemurs are strictly nocturnal (Schilling et al. 1999; Kappeler & Rasoloarison 2003; Atsalis 2008). In general, mouse lemur activity levels, metabolism, body temperature, and body mass all vary throughout the year and are perhaps viewed best through the lens of an annual cycle which is driven by changes in day length (Atsalis 2008). Mouse lemur seasonal weight fluctuations are also related to changes in daylight duration (Perret & Aujard 2001). Two types of torpor are seen in mouse lemurs; daily and seasonal. Daily torpor functions in energy management, while seasonal torpor functions to help mouse lemurs survive yearly periods of resource scarcity. However, not all mouse lemurs hibernate, and in fact, there appears to be no clear pattern at all. Some individuals of the same species and even the same population hibernate while others do not, and different populations of the same and different species at different locations show varying patterns of torpor (Schmid 2001; reviewed by Atsalis 2008). During torpor and hibernation, metabolic rate as well as body temperature decline, and can reduce the metabolism of the mouse lemur by up to 90% and the body temperature to nearly that of the environment around it (Ortmann et al. 1997; Schmid 2000; 2001).
At one study site in western Madagascar, two different types of torpor are practiced by M. murinus; daily torpor averaging 9.3 hours punctuated by activity, and long-term torpor, which may last for weeks (Schmid 2000). Long-term torpor in M. rufus has lasted between 6-24 weeks (Atsalis 2008). There are also seasonal changes in body weight, with all species gaining weight during the rainy season and losing weight during the dry season (summarized by Radespiel 2006). For example, during the austral winter (May-June) M. murinus and M. rufus begin fattening themselves, gaining body weight as well as increasing the volume of the tail (Petter-Rousseaux 1980; Atsalis 2008). Individuals who enter seasonal torpor lose more weight than those that do not (Radespiel 2006). After a period of long-term torpor, mouse lemurs will have lost all of the preceding weight gain (Atsalis 2008).
Home ranges in M. berthae average 0.049 km² (0.02 mi²) (M) and 0.025 km² (0.01 mi²) (F) (Dammhahn & Kappeler 2005). In M. murinus, home range averages are 0.032 km² (0.01 mi²) (M) and 0.018 km² (0.007 mi²) (F) (Pagès-Feuillade 1988). M. murinus, M. ravelobensis and M. berthae home ranges of both sexes often overlap with those of several other individuals and are usually stable (Pagès-Feuillade 1988; Fietz 1995; Radespiel 2000; Eberle & Kappeler 2002; 2004; Weidt et al. 2004; Dammhahn & Kappeler 2005; Génin 2008). In addition, home ranges of M. griseorufus expand during the rainy season (Génin 2008). The nightly path of M. berthae averages 4470 m (14665.4 ft) (M) and 3190 m (10465.9 ft) (F) (Dammhahn & Kappeler 2005).
Mouse lemurs are often found living sympatrically with other primates. For example, at Ranomafana National Park in southeastern Madagascar, M. rufus is a member of a primate community that also includes Avahi laniger, Cheirogaleus major, Daubentonia madagascariensis, Eulemur fulvus, Eulemur rubriventer, Hapalemur aureus, Hapalemur griseus, Prolemur simus, Varecia variegata, Lepilemur sp., and Propithecus diadema (Atsalis 1998). In a given habitat, more than one species of mouse lemur can live in sympatry, as is the case with M. murinus and M. ravelobensis in northwestern Madagascar, M. murinus and M. berthae in western Madagascar and M. murinus and M. griseorufus in southern Madagascar and M. murinus and M. myoxinus in western Madagascar as examples (Radespiel et al. 2003b; Schwab & Ganzhorn 2004; Mittermeier et al. 2006). Aggression has been seen between sympatric mouse lemurs and dwarf lemurs (Atsalis 2008).
M. murinus prefers to sleep in holes in trees while the other species of mouse lemur use tree holes as well as a variety of other sleeping site options (Schwab 2000; Radespiel et al. 2003b; Radespiel 2006). When living in sympatry, M. murinus prefers tree holes while M. ravelobensis sleeps on branches, lianas, and leaves; a difference that is attributable to inter-species competition (Radespiel et al. 2003b). M. berthae sleeps alone in thick vegetation (Schwab 2000). In the dry season, over a dozen individuals of M. murinus have been found in a single tree hole sleeping site (Rasoazanabary 2006).
Possible and potential predators of mouse lemurs include a variety of nocturnal viverrids, mongooses, and domestic dogs as well as several different types of raptor (reviewed in Goodman et al. 1993; Atsalis 1998). Snakes are also predators of mouse lemurs and have been seen attacking M. murinus (Richard 1978; Eberle & Kappeler 2008). In wild M. murinus, several individuals were observed to mob and even bite a Malagasy tree boa (Sanzinia madagascariensis) that was attacking an adult male, permitting its escape (Eberle & Kappeler 2008). The Madagascar long-eared owl and the Madagascar harrier-hawk both prey on mouse lemurs (Goodman et al. 1991; Karpanty & Goodman 1999). The red owl (Tyto soumagnei) is a predator of the northern rufous mouse lemur (M. tavaratra) (Cardiff & Goodman 2008). In fact, predation can be quite severe, with estimates at Beza Mahafaly, southern Madagascar assigning a 25% loss each year in the entire M. murinus population exclusively to owl predation (Goodman et al. 1993).
Content last modified: February 11, 2009
Cite this page as:
Gron KJ. 2009 February 11. Primate Factsheets: Mouse lemur (Microcebus) Taxonomy, Morphology, & Ecology . <http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/mouse_lemur/taxon>. Accessed 2020 July 16.
For individual primate species conservation status, please search the IUCN Red List.
Also search the current scientific literature for primate conservation status (overall as well as for individual species), and visit CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
Conservation information last updated in 2009 follows, for comparison:
Whereas several species of mouse lemur are widespread, the recognition of more and more diversity is indicating that some species are found only in restricted areas or localities, increasing the chances that local habitat alteration and degradation will seriously affect their survival (Yoder et al. 2000; Kappeler & Rasoloarison 2003). As a result, a reassessment of the threat levels of mouse lemurs is needed and the status of some species may be worse than assumed (Rasoazanabary 2004; Louis et al. 2006).
Estimates place the entire extant population of M. berthae at less than 8000 individuals while the status of M. lehilahytsara is not known (Schwab & Ganzhorn 2004; Roos & Kappeler 2006).
Threat: Human-Induced Habitat Loss and Degradation
Human activities have the potential to affect mouse lemurs adversely by degrading or destroying habitats, especially through slash-and-burn agriculture, logging, the production of charcoal, commercial maize farming, brush fires, the collection of firewood, and sapphire mining (Mittermeier et al. 2006). For example, at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve in southwest Madagascar, trees used by mouse lemurs are logged by locals, as well as exploited for honey collection. In addition, forest is degraded for livestock grazing, as well as through slash-and-burn agriculture (Rasoazanabary 2004). For example, slash-and-burn agriculture is also the main threat to the lemurs of Marojejy Strict Nature Reserve (including M. rufus) in northeast Madagascar (Duckworth et al. 1995). Although mouse lemurs are sometimes found in secondary forests, their body mass and population densities are lower in some such habitats, less food is available, fewer individuals enter torpor, and there are less appropriate sleeping sites. (Ganzhorn & Schmid 1998). Even though mouse lemurs are found in some secondary habitats, they are not optimal for the species (Ganzhorn & Schmid 1998). Forest degradation also has the potential to exacerbate competition and upset the ecological balance between sympatric species of mouse lemur. In fact, degradation could conceivably alter habitats in such a way that one species of mouse lemur could speed the elimination of another sympatric species of mouse lemur (Schwab & Ganzhorn 2004). Some species of mouse lemur (M. murinus) rely on tree-hole nests for torpor, hibernation, and for infant rearing; forest degradation has the potential to significantly alter the availability of optimal resting places for the species, and may affect their survival (Schmid 1998; Sylvia Atsalis pers. comm.).
Threat: Invasive Alien Species
Introduced predators, such as feral cats and dogs pose an added predation threat to M. ravelobensis (Mittermeier et al. 2006).
Threat: Harvesting (hunting/gathering)
M. murinus are sometimes captured as pets (Mittermeier et al. 2006).
LINKS TO MORE ABOUT CONSERVATION
- No current links for Microcebus
- Links for all species
- Is This the Smallest Primate on Earth? (National Geographic News; June 27, 2003)
- Links for all species
ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN Microcebus CONSERVATION
Content last modified: February 11, 2009
Cite this page as:
Gron KJ. 2009 February 11. Primate Factsheets: Mouse lemur (Microcebus) Conservation . <http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/mouse_lemur/cons>. Accessed 2020 July 16.
The following references were used in the writing of this factsheet. To find current references for Microcebus, search PrimateLit.
Andrès M, Gachot-Neveu H, Perret M. 2001. Genetic determination of paternity in captive grey mouse lemurs: pre-copulatory sexual competition rather than sperm competition in a nocturnal prosimian? Behaviour 138(8):1047-63.
Andriantompohavana R, Zaonarivelo JR, Engberg SE, Randriamampionona R, McGuire SM, Shore GD, Rakotonomenjanahary R, Brenneman RA, Louis EE Jr. 2006. Mouse lemurs of northwestern Madagascar with a description of a new species at Lokobe Special Reserve. Occas Pap Tex Tech Univ Mus 259:1-24.
Ankel-Simons F. 2007. Primate anatomy: an introduction, 3rd edition. San Diego: Elsevier. 724p.
Atsalis S. 1999. Diet of the brown mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus) in Ranomafana Nationsl Park, Madagascar. Int J Primatol 20(2):193-229.
Atsalis S. 1998. Feeding ecology and aspects of life history in Microcebus rufus (Family Cheirogaleidae, Order Primates). PhD dissertation, City University of New York.
Atsalis S. 2008. A natural history of the brown mouse lemur. Upper Saddle River (NJ):Prentice Hall. 230p.
Atsalis S. 2000. Spatial distribution and population composition of the brown mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus) in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar, and its implications for social organization. Am J Primatol 51(1):61-78.
Blanco MB. 2008. Reproductive schedules of female Microcebus rufus at Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. Int J Primatol 29(2):323-38.
Boulière F, Petter-Rousseaux A, Petter JJ. Regular breeding in captivity of the lesser mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). Intl Zoo Ybk 3:24-5.
Braune P, Schmidt S, Zimmermann E. 2008. Acoustic divergence in the communication of cryptic species of nocturnal primates (Microcebus ssp.). BMC Biol 6(1):19.
Braune P, Schmidt S, Zimmermann E. 2005. Spacing and group coordination in a nocturnal primate, the golden brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis): the role of olfactory and acoustic signals. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 58(6):587-96.
Buesching CD, Heistermann M, Hodges JK, Zimmermann E. 1998. Multimodal oestrus advertisement in a small nocturnal prosimian, Microcebus murinus. Folia Primatol 69(suppl 1):295-308.
Cardiff SG, Goodman SM. 2008. Natural history of the red owl (Tyto soumagnei) in dry deciduous tropical forest in Madagascar. Wilson J Ornithol 120(4):891-7.
Cherry JA, Izard MK, Simons EL. 1987. Description of ultrasonic vocalizations of the mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) and the fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius). Am J Primatol 13(2):181-5.
Colas S. 1999. Evidence for sex-biased behavioral maternal investment in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). Int J Primatol 20(6):911-26.
Craul M, Zimmermann E, Radespiel U. 2004. First experimental evidence for female mate choice in a nocturnal primate. Primates 45(4):271-4.
Dammhahn M, Kappeler PM. 2006. Feeding ecology and activity patterns of female Microcebus berthae and sympatric M. murinus (Cheirogaleidae) [abstract]. Int J Primatol 27(suppl 1):#44.
Dammhahn M, Kappeler PM. 2005. Social system of Microcebus berthae, the world’s smallest primate. Int J Primatol 26(2):407-35.
Duckworth JW, Evans MI, Hawkins AFA, Safford RJ, Wilkinson RJ. 1995. The lemurs of Marojejy Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar: a status overview with notes on ecology and threats. Int J Primatol 16(3):545-59.
Eberle M, Kappeler PM. 2003. Cooperative breeding in grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) [abstract]. Folia Primatol 74(5-6):367.
Eberle M, Kappeler PM. 2006. Family insurance: kin selection and cooperative breeding in a solitary primate (Microcebus murinus). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 60(4):582-8.
Eberle M, Kappeler PM. 2002. Mouse lemurs in space and time: a test of the socioecological model. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 51(2):131-9.
Eberle M, Kappeler PM. 2008. Mutualism, reciprocity, or kin selection? Cooperative rescue of a conspecific from a boa in a nocturnal solitary forager the gray mouse lemur. Am J Primatol 70(4):410-4.
Eberle M, Kappeler PM. 2004a. Selected polyandry: female choice and inter-sexual conflict in a small nocturnal solitary primate (Microcebus murinus). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 57(1):91-100.
Eberle M. Kappeler PM. 2004b. Sex in the dark: determinants and consequences of mixed male mating tactics in Microcebus murinus, a small solitary nocturnal primate. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 57(1):77-90.
Eberle M, Perret M, Kappeler PM. 2007. Sperm competition and optimal timing of matings in Microcebus murinus. Int J Primatol 28(6):1267-78.
Fietz J. 1995. Mating and social system of the lesser mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus, Cheirogaleidae; J. F. Miller 1777) in the dry deciduous forest of western Madagascar. Primate Rep 47:95-6.
Fietz J. 1999. Mating system of Microcebus murinus. Am J Primatol 48(2):127-33.
Ganzhorn JU, Schmid J. 1998. Different population dynamics of Microcebus murinus in primary and secondary deciduous dry forests of Madagascar. Int J Primatol 19(5):785-96.
Génin F. 2007. Energy-dependent plasticity of grey mouse lemur social systems: lessons from field and captive studies. Rev Ecol (Terre Vie) 62(2-3):245-56.
Génin F. 2008. Life in unpredictable environments: first investigation of the natural history of Microcebus griseorufus. Int J Primatol 29(2):303-21.
Glatston AR. 1983. Olfactory communication in the lesser mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). In: Seth PK, editor. Perspectives in primate biology. New Delhi (IN): Today & Tomorrow’s printers & publishers. p63-73.
Glatston ARH. 1979. Reproduction and behaviour of the lesser mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus, Miller 1777) in captivity. PhD dissertation, University of London-University College. 415p.
Goodman SM, Creighton GK, Raxworthy C. 1991. The food habits of the Madagascar long-eared owl Asio madagascariensis in southeastern Madagascar. Bonn Zool Beitr 42(1):21-6.
Goodman SM, O’Connor S, Langrand O. 1993. A review of predation on lemurs: implications for the evolution of social behavior in small, nocturnal primates. In: Kappeler PM, Ganzhorn JU, editors. Lemur social systems and their ecological basis. New York: Plenum Pr. p51-66.
Gould L, Sauther M. 2007. Lemuriformes. In: Campbell CJ, Fuentes A, MacKinnon KC, Panger M, Bearder SK, editors. Primates in perspective. New York:Oxford U Pr. p46-72.
Hafen T, Neveu H, Rumpler Y, Wilden I, Zimmermann E. 1998. Acoustically dimorphic advertisement calls separate morphologically and genetically homogenous populations of the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). Folia Primatol 69(suppl 1):342-56.
Heckman KL, Rasoazanabary E, Machlin E, Godfrey LR, Yoder AD. 2006. Incongruence between genetic and morphological diversity in Microcebus griseorufus of Beza Mahafaly. BMC Evol Biol 6(1):98.
van Horn RN, Eaton GG. 1979. Reproductive physiology and behavior in prosimians. In: Doyle GA, Martin RD, editors. The study of prosimian behavior. New York: Academic Pr. p79-122.
Kappeler PM. 2000. Ecologie des microcèbes. Primatologie 3:145-71.
Kappeler PM, Rasoloarison RM. 2003. Microcebus, mouse lemurs, Tsidy. In: Goodman SM, Benstead JP, editors. The natural history of Madagascar. Chicago: U Chicago Pr. p1310-5.
Kappeler PM, Rasoloarison RM, Razafimanantsoa L, Walter L, Roos C. 2005. Morphology, behaviour and molecular evolution of giant mouse lemurs (Mirza spp.) Gray, 1870, with description of a new species. Primate Rep 71:3-26.
Karpanty SM, Goodman SM. 1999. Diet of the Madagascar harrier-hawk, Polyboroides radiatus, in southeastern Madagascar. J Raptor Res 33(4):313-6.
Lahann P. 2007. Feeding ecology and seed dispersal of sympatric cheirogaleid lemurs (Microcebus murinus, Cheirogaleus medius, Cheirogaleus major) in the littoral rainforest of south-east Madagascar. J Zool 271(1):88-98.
Louis EE Jr, Coles MS, Andriantompohavana R, Sommer JA, Engberg SE, Zaonarivelo RJ, Mayor MI, Brenneman RA. 2006. Revision of the mouse lemurs (Microcebus) of eastern Madagascar. Int J Primatol 27(2):347-89.
Lutermann H, Schmelting B, Radespiel U, Ehresmann P, Zimmermann E. 2006. The role of survival for the evolution of female philopatry in a solitary forager, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). Proc R Soc Lond B 273(1600):2527-33.
Martin RD. 1975. Breeding tree-shrews Tupaia belangeri and mouse lemurs Microcebus murinus in captivity. Int Zoo Ybk 15:35-41.
Martin RD. 1972. A preliminary field-study of the lesser mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus J. F. Miller 1777). Fortschr Verhaltensforsch 9:43-89.
Martin RD. 1973. A review of the behaviour and ecology of the lesser mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus J. F. Miller 1777). In: Michael RP, Crook JH, editors. Comparative ecology and behaviour of primates: proceedings of a conference held at the zoological society London, November 1971. New York:Academic Pr. p1-68.
Mittermeier RA, Konstant WR, Hawkins F, Louis EE, Langrand O, Ratsimbazafy J, Rasoloarison R, Ganzhorn JU, Rajaobelina S, Tattersall I, Meyers DM. 2006. Lemurs of Madagascar: second edition. Washington, D.C.:Conservation Intl. 520p.
Olivieri G, Zimmermann E, Randrianambinina B, Rasoloharijaona S, Rakotondravony D, Guschanski K, Radespiel U. 2007. The ever-increasing diversity in mouse lemurs: three new species in north and northwestern Madagascar. Mol Phylogenet Evol 43(1):309-27.
Ortmann S, Heldmaier G, Schmid J, Ganzhorn JU. 1997. Spontaneous daily torpor in Malagasy mouse lemurs. Naturwissenschaften 84(1):28-32.
Pagès-Feuillade E. 1988. Modalités de l’occupation de l’espace et relations interindividuelles chez un prosimien nocturne malgache (Microcebus murinus). Folia Primatol 50(3-4):204-20.
Perret M. 1995. Chemocommunication in the reproductive function of mouse lemurs. In: Alterman L, Doyle GA, Izard MK, editors. Creatures of the dark: the nocturnal prosimians. New York: Plenum Pr. p377-92.
Perret M. 1992. Environmental and social determinants of sexual function in the male lesser mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). Folia Primatol 59(1):1-25.
Perret M. 1990. Influence of social factors on sex ratio at birth, maternal investment and young survival in a prosimian primate. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 27(6):447-54.
Perret M, Aujard F. 2001. Regulation by photoperiod of seasonal changes in body mass and reproductive function in gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus): differential responses by sex. Int J Primatol 22(1):5-24.
Petter-Rousseaux A. 1980. Seasonal activity rhythms, reproduction, and body weight variations in five sympatric nocturnal prosimians, in simulated light and climatic conditions. In: Charles-Dominique P, Cooper HM, Hladik A, Hladik CM, Pages E, Pariente GF, Petter-Rousseaux A, Schilling A, Petter JJ, editors. Nocturnal Malagasy primates: ecology, physiology, and behavior. New York:Academic Pr. p137-52.
Radespiel U, Ehresmann P, Zimmermann E. 2001a. Contest versus scramble competition for mates: the composition and spatial structure of a population of gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) in north-west Madagascar. Primates 42(3):207-20.
Radespiel U, Zimmermann E. 2001a. Dynamics of estrous synchrony in captive gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Int J Primatol 22(1):71-90.
Radespiel U. 2006. Ecological diversity and seasonal adaptations of mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.). In: Gould L, Sauther ML, editors. Lemurs: ecology and adaptation. New York:Springer. p211-33.
Radespiel U, Reimann W, Rahelinirina M, Zimmermann E. 2006. Feeding ecology of sympatric mouse lemur species in northwestern Madagascar. Int J Primatol 27(1):311-21.
Radespiel U, Zimmermann E. 2001b. Female dominance in captive gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Am J Primatol 54(4):181-92.
Radespiel U, Lutermann H, Schmelting B, Bruford MW, Zimmermann E. 2003a. Patterns and dynamics of sex-biased dispersal in a nocturnal primate, the grey mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus. Anim Behav 65(4):709-19.
Radespiel U, Dal Secco V, Drögemüller C, Braune P, Labes E, Zimmermann E. 2002. Sexual selection, multiple mating and paternity in grey mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus. Anim Behav 63(2):259-68.
Radespiel U. 2000. Sociality in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) in northwestern Madagascar. Am J Primatl 51(1):21-40.
Radespiel U, Sarikaya Z, Zimmermann E, Bruford MW. 2001. Sociogenetic structure in a free-living nocturnal primate population: sex-specific differences in the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 50(6):493-502.
Radespiel U, Ehresmann P, Zimmermann E. 2003b. Species-specific usage of sleeping sites in two sympatric mouse lemur species (Microcebus murinus and M. ravelobensis) in northwestern Madagascar. Am J Primatol 59(4):139-51.
Randrianambinina B, Rakotondravony D, Radespiel U, Zimmermann E. 2003. Seasonal changes in general activity, body mass and reproduction of two small nocturnal primates: a comparison of the golden brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis) in northwestern Madagascar and the brown mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus) in eastern Madagascar. Primates 44(4):321-31.
Rasoazanabary E. 2006. Male and female activity patterns in Microcebus murinus during the dry season at Kirindy Forest, western Madagascar. Int J Primatol 27(2):437-64.
Rasoazanabary E. 2004. A preliminary study of mouse lemurs in the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, southwest Madagascar. Lemur News 9:4-7.
Rasoloarison RM, Goodman SM, Ganzhorn JU. 2000. Taxonomic revision of mouse lemurs (Microcebus) in the western portions of Madagascar. Int J Primatol 21(6):963-1019.
Rendigs A, Radespiel U, Wrogemann D, Zimmermann E. 2003. Relationship between microhabitat structure and distribution of mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) in northwestern Madagascar. Int J Primatol 24(1):47-62.
Richard AF. 1978. Behavioral variation: case study of a Malagasy lemur. Cranbury(NJ):Associated U Presses. 213p.
Roos C, Kappeler P. 2006. Distribution and conservation status of two newly described Cheirogaleid species, Mirza zaza and Microcebus lehilahytsara. Prim Conserv 21:51-3.
Rylands AB. 2007. Lemur diversity: a recent efflorescence of species. Lemur News 12:12-7.
Scheumann M, Zimmermann E, Deichsel G. 2007. Context-specific calls signal infants’ needs in a strepsirrhine primate, the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). Dev Psychobiol 49(7):708-18.
Schilling A, Richard J-P, Servière J. 1999. Duration of activity and period of circadian activity-rest rhythm in a photoperiod-dependent primate, Microcebus murinus. C R Acad Sci 322(9):759-70.
Schilling A. 2000. Organes des sens et communication chez le microcèbe. Primatologie 3:85-143.
Schmid J. 2001. Daily torpor in free-ranging gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) in Madagascar. Int J Primatol 22(6):1021-31.
Schmid J. 2000. Daily torpor in the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) in Madagascar: energetic consequences and biological significance. Oecologia 123(2):175-83.
Schmid J. 1998. Tree holes used for resting by gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) in Madagascar: insulation capacities and energetic consequences. Int J Primatol 19(5):797-809.
Schmidt M. 2005. Hind limb proportions and kinematics: are small primates different from other small mammals? J Exp Biol 208(17):3367-83.
Schwab D, Ganzhorn JU. 2004. Distribution, population structure and habitat use of Microcebus berthae compared to those of other sympatric Cheirogalids. Int J Primatol 25(2):307-30.
Schwab D. 2000. A preliminary study of spatial distribution and mating system of pygmy mouse lemurs (Microcebus cf myoxinus). Am J Primatol 51(1):41-60.
Smith RJ, Leigh SR. 1998. Sexual dimorphism in primate neonatal body mass. J Hum Evol 34(2):173-201.
Tattersall I. 2007. Madagascar’s lemurs: cryptic diversity or taxonomic inflation? Evol Anth 16(1):12-23.
Weidt A, Hagenah N, Randrianambinina B, Radespiel U, Zimmermann E. 2004. Social organization of the golden brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis). Am J Phys Anthropol 123(1):40-51.
Weigl R. 2005. Longevity of mammals in captivity; from the living collections of the world. Stuttgart (DE): E. Schweizerbartsche. 214 p.
Wrogemann D, Zimmermann E. 2001. Aspects of reproduction in the eastern rufous mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus) and their implications for captive management. Zoo Biol 20(3):157-67.
Wrogemann D, Radespiel U, Zimmermann E. 2001. Comparison of reproductive characteristics and changes in body weight between captive populations of rufous and gray mouse lemurs. Int J Primatol 22(1):91-108.
Yoder AD, Rasoloarison RM, Goodman SM, Irwin JA, Atsalis S, Ravosa MJ, Ganzhorn JU. 2000. Remarkable species diversity in Malagasy mouse lemurs (primates, Microcebus). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97(21):11325-30.
Zimmermann E, Lerch C. 1993. The complex acoustic design of an advertisement call in male mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus, Prosimii, Primates) and sources of its variation. Ethology 93(3):211-24.
Zimmermann E, Cepok S, Rakotoarison N, Zietemann V, Radespiel U. 1998. Sympatric mouse lemurs in north-west Madagascar: a new rufous mouse lemur species (Microcebus ravelobensis). Folia Primatol 69(2):106-14.
Zimmermann E, Vorobieva E, Wrogemann D, Hafen T. 1999. Use of vocal fingerprinting for specific discrimination of gray (Microcebus murinus) and rufous mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus). Int J Primatol 21(5):837-52.
Content last modified: February 11, 2009
- Microcebus rufus: Vocalization (Erik Patel; Cornell University)
Photo: Leanne Nash
Photo: Alan H. Shoemaker
Photo: J. Visser
Photo: Verena Behringer
Photo: Verena Behringer
Photo: K. Preston
Primate Info Net (PIN) is maintained by the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (WNPRC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with countless grants and contributions from others over time. PIN is an ever-growing community effort: if you’d like to contribute, or have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.