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Ring-tailed lemur

Lemur catta

240424 PZ Ring Tailed Lemur LR BC 01
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Mammals
Order: Primates
Family: Lemuridae

There’s no mistaking the ring-tailed lemur! Paignton Zoo is currently home to an all-male group of ring-tailed lemurs that live in Lemur Wood with our red-fronted lemurs.

This particular species of lemur is native to a range of habitats including forests and scrubs across south and southwest Madagascar.

Ring-tailed lemurs are omnivores and consume anything from plants, fruit and leaves to insects and small chameleons.

Interesting facts!

  • These primates are extremely social creatures, forming female-dominated units of up to 30 individuals.
  • When the weather is warm, lemurs love to sunbathe. Ring-tailed lemurs will sit up in a yoga-like pose with their arms out to warm up their bellies!
  • Ring-tailed lemurs are excellent climbers and have opposable thumbs which give great grip onto branches.
  • The lower front teeth of a ring-tailed lemur form what is called a toothcomb that’s used for grooming their long fur.


Habitat destruction and capture for the pet trade are the top threats to ring-tailed lemurs in Madagascar. However, the species does live in several protected areas within its native range which offer differing levels of protection. Further research is being carried out on the wild population to discover more about their ecology and behaviour.

Many ex-situ facilities such as zoos are in involved in conserving and raising awareness of ring-tailed lemurs, and there is a large, well-managed breeding programme.