Cheirogaleidae: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eastern Fork-marked Lemur (Phaner furcifer)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Strepsirrhini
Infraorder: Lemuriformes
Family: Cheirogaleidae
Gray, 1873


Cheirogaleidae is the family of strepsirrhine primates that contains the various dwarf and mouse lemurs. Like all other lemurs, cheirogaleids live exclusively on the island of Madagascar.



Cheirogaleids are smaller than the other lemurs and, in fact, they are the smallest primates. They have a soft, long fur colored grey-brown to reddish on top with a generally brighter underbelly. Typically they have small ears, large, close set eyes, and long hind legs. Like all strepsirrhines they have fine claws at the second toe of the hind legs. They grow to a size of only 13 to 28 cm, with a tail that is very long, sometimes up to one and a half times as long as the body. They weigh no more than 500 grams, with some species weighing as little as 60 grams.[2]

Dwarf and mouse lemurs are nocturnal and arboreal. They are excellent climbers and can also jump far, using their long tail for balance. When on the ground (a rare occurrence) they move by hopping on their hind legs. They spend the day in tree hollows or home-made nests. Cheirogaleids are typically solitary but sometimes live together in pairs.

Their eyes possess a tapetum lucidum, a light-reflecting layer that improves their night vision. Some species, such as the Lesser Dwarf Lemur, store fat at the hind legs and the base of the tail and hibernate. Unlike lemurids, they have long upper incisors, although they do have the comb-like teeth typical of all strepsirhines. They have the dental formula:


Cheirogaleids are omnivores, eating fruits, flowers and leaves (and sometimes nectar) as well as insects, spiders and small vertebrates.[2]

The females usually have three pairs of nipples. After a meager 60 day gestation, they will bear two to four (usually two or three) young. After five to six weeks these are weaned and become fully mature near the end of their first year or sometime in their second year, depending on the species. In human care, they can live for up to 15 years, although their life expectancy in the wild is probably significantly shorter.


The five genera of cheirogaleids contain 32 species.[3][4][5] [6]


  • a In 2008, 7 new species of Microcebus were formally recognized, but Microcebus lokobensis (Lokobe Mouse Lemur) was not among the additions. Therefore its status as a species is still questionable.[3]


  1. ^ Groves, C. (2005). Wilson, D. E., & Reeder, D. M.. ed. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 111-114. ISBN 0-801-88221-4.  
  2. ^ a b Martin, Robert D. (1984). Macdonald, D.. ed. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 126–127. ISBN 0-87196-871-1.  
  3. ^ a b Mittermeier, R., Ganzhorn, J., Konstant, W., Glander, K., Tattersall, I., Groves, C., Rylands, A., Hapke, A., Ratsimbazafy, J., Mayor, M., Louis, E., Rumpler, Y., Schwitzer, C. & Rasoloarison, R. (December 2008). "Lemur Diversity in Madagascar". International Journal of Primatology 29 (6): 1607–1656. doi:10.1007/s10764-008-9317-y.  
  4. ^ Edward E. Louis, Melissa S. Coles, Rambinintsoa Andriantompohavana, Julie A. Sommer, Shannon E. Engberg, John R. Zaonarivelo, Mireya I. Mayor, Rick A. Brenneman (2006). "Revision of the Mouse Lemurs (Microcebus) of Eastern Madagascar". International Journal of Primatology 27 (2): 347–389. doi:10.1007/s10764-006-9036-1.  
  5. ^ Radespiel, Ute, et al. (2008). "Exceptional diversity of mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) in the Makira region with the description of one new species". American Journal of Primatology Forthcoming: n/a. doi:10.1002/ajp.20592.  
  6. ^ a b c Edward E. Louis, Jr., Shannon E. Engberg, Susie M. McGuire, Marilyn J. McCormick, Richard Randriamampionona, Jean Freddy Ranaivoarisoa, Carolyn A. Bailey, Russell A. Mittermeier and Runhua Lei (2008). "Revision of the Mouse Lemurs, Microcebus(Primates, Lemuriformes), of Northern and Northwestern Madagascar with Descriptions of Two New Species at Montagne d’Ambre National Park and Antafondro Classified Forest". Primate Conservation 2008 (23): 19–38.  


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:



  1. a taxonomic family, within superfamily Cheirogaleoidea - the dwarf lemurs and mouse lemurs
Wikispecies has information on:


See also

  • Cheirogaleus - dwarf lemurs
  • Microcebus - mouse lemurs
  • Mirza - giant mouse lemurs
  • Allocebus - hairy-eared dwarf lemur
  • Phaner - fork-crown lemurs


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Ordo: Primates
Subordo: Strepsirrhini
Infraordo: Lemuriformes
Superfamilia: Cheirogaleoidea
Familia: Cheirogaleidae
Genera: Allocebus - Cheirogaleus - Microcebus - Mirza - Phaner


Cheirogaleidae Gray, 1873

Vernacular names

Български: Лемури джуджета
Català: Quirogaleid
Deutsch: Katzenmakis
Español: Quirogaleidos
Français: Cheirogaleidés
한국어: 난쟁이여우원숭이과
Hrvatski: Patuljasti lemuri
Italiano: Cheirogaleidi
Lietuvių: Mažieji lemurai
Magyar: Törpemakifélék
Nederlands: Dwergmaki's
日本語: コビトキツネザル科
Polski: Lemurkowate
Português: Quirogaleídeos
Русский: Карликовые лемуры
Suomi: Pikkumakit
Svenska: Smålemurer (muslemurer; dvärg- och musmakier)
中文: 鼠狐猴科


  • Cheirogaleidae on Mammal species of the World.
    Don E. Wilson & DeeAnn M. Reeder (editors). 2005. Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed).
  • Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 1872: 849 [1873].
  • Mammal Species of the World, A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 3rd edition, 2005 ISBN 0801882214


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