Lepilemur dorsalis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Lepilemur dorsalis
Species Authority: Gray, 1870
Common Name/s:
English Gray’s Sportive Lemur, Nossi-bé Sportive Lemur, Grey-backed Sportive Lemur
Spanish Lemur Comadreja De Ambanja
Taxonomic Notes: Sportive Lemurs on the islands of Nosy Be and Nosy Koma are now described as L. tymerlachsoni (Louis et al. 2006). Zinner et al. (2007) show that the three teams which described new Lepilemur species in 2006 and 2007 (Andriaholinirina et al. 2006, Louis et al. 2006, Craul et al. 2007) each had different concepts of L. dorsalis, and that the validity of L. tymerlachsoni and L. mittermeieri depends on which concept turns out to be correct. The type locality of Lepilemur dorsalis is either Mourountsang (=Anorontsangana, 13°55’S, 47°55’E) or Passandava (=Ampasindava, about 13°40’S, 48°15’E). If the former, then L. tymerlachsoni is a synonym of L. dorsalis and L. mittermeieri is valid; if the latter, then L. mittermeieri is the synonym and L. tymerlachsoni is valid. The species found at Anorontsangana is also found on Nosy Bé (Zinner et al. 2007). The name L. grandidieri(Forsyth Major, 1894) was given to a species form this general area, and this too may prove to be a senior synonym of one of the species described in 2006/2007.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor/s: Hoffmann, M.
Reviewer/s: Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Listed as Data Deficient as, in light of recent taxonomic upheavals in the genus Lepilemur, the precise distribution range of this species has become unclear and the taxonomic status of this species is unclear. A major reassessment of the Lepilemur species currently described in northwestern Madagascar is now a matter of priority.
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Vulnerable (IUCN 1990)
1990 Vulnerable (IUCN 1990)
1988 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in the Sambirano region of north-western Madagascar, its distribution centering on Ambanja. The limits of the range with the recently described L. sahamalazensis to the south are unclear.
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Common, more so in secondary forest than in primary forest.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This lemur has been the subject of only brief field studies. It inhabits humid forests that are subject to a short dry season each year, as well as subhumid forests that are subject to a long dry season. In dense primary forest it appears to favor tree holes for daytime sleeping, but will seek out vegetation tangles in more open deciduous forest. Births occur from August through November, mothers typically producing a single young.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats are believed to be habitat loss due to rice and coffee cultivation, as well as illegal logging. This species is sometimes hunted for food.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. It is known to occur in the Manongarivo Special Reserve, and probably also in the Tsaratanana Strict Nature Reserve.

Bibliography [top]

Andriaholinirina, N., Fausser, J.-L., Roos, C., Zinner, D., Thalmann, U., Rabarivola, C. Ravoarimanana, I., Ganzhorn, J., Meier, B., Hilgartner, R., Walter, L., Zaramody, A., Langer, C. Hahn, T. Zimmermann, E., Radespiel, U., Craul, M., Tomiuk, J., Tattersall, I. and Rumpler, Y. 2006. Molecular phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the sportive lemurs (Lepilemur, primates). BMC Evolutionary Biology 6: 1–13.

Craul, M., Zimmermann, E., Rasoloharijaona, S., Randrianambinina, B. and Radespiel, U. 2007. Unexpected species diversity of Malagasy primates (Lepilemur spp.) in the same biogeographical zone: a morphological and molecular approach with the description of two new species. BMC Evolutionary Biology 7: 83.

Louis, E., Engberg, S., Lei, R., Geng, H., Sommer, J., Randriamampionona, R., Randriamanana, J., Zaonarivelo, J., Andriantompohavana, R., Randria, G., Prosper, Ramaromilanto, B., Rakotoarisoa, G., Rooney, A. and Brenneman, R. 2006. Molecular and morphological analyses of the sportive lemurs (family Megaladapidae: genus Lepilemur) reveals 11 previously unrecognized species. Special Publications, Museum of Texas Tech University 49: 1 – 49.

Mittermeier, R., Louis, E., Hawkins, F., Langrand, O., Ganzhorn, J., Konstant, W., Rasoloarison, R., Rajaobelina, S. and Richardson, M. 2008. Lemurs of Madagascar, 3rd edition. Conservation International.

Zinner, D., Roos, C., Fausser, J.-L., Groves, C. P. and Rumpler, Y. 2007. Disputed taxonomy classification of sportive lemurs (Lepilemur) in NW Madagascar. Lemur News 12: 53-56.

Citation: Hoffmann, M. 2008. Lepilemur dorsalis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 16 April 2014.
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