Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur, Cheirogaleus medius

The fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius) is one of the smallest living primates in the world, and is native only to the island of Madagascar. Its other common names include the western fat-tailed dwarf lemur, the spiny forest dwarf lemur, and the lesser dwarf lemur.

During the years of 2000 to 2009, one population of lemurs, known as southern fat-tailed dwarf lemur, was thought to be a separate species. Colin Groves described this species as having many coloration differences from the fat-tailed dwarf lemur, but in 2009, this was dismissed when Groeneveld et al conducted genetic testing of the southern fat-tailed dwarf lemur. It was found that this species was a synonym, or the same species with a different name, of the fat-tailed dwarf lemur, and it lost its species status.

The fat-tailed dwarf lemur hibernates through winter, although temperatures remain high in its tropical range. As is common to fat-tailed lemurs, this dwarf lemur does store fat in its tail, giving it a resource for nutrients while it hibernates. This species remains in the hollows of trees, and if the home is not well insulated, its temperature will change with that of the air outside. The fat-tailed dwarf lemur appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern”.

Image Caption: Cheirogaleus medius (Mittlerer Fettschwanzmaki). Credit: Petra Lahann/Wikipedia  (CC BY-SA 2.0)