New Lemur Species

Eleven New Species of Sportive Lemurs

New research on the mitochondrial DNA of the sportive lemurs has revealed 11 new species, according to a study published in September 2006 by E. E. Louis Jr. and colleagues. Based on extensive fieldwork conducted in forest fragments throughout Madagascar, the new research combines molecular and morphological data in a unified phylogenetic analysis. Apart from describing the new species of Lepilemur, Louis Jr. et al. present a case for the monophyly of the sportive lemurs, recognizing a total of 22 species divided into eastern and western clades.

Nearly all of the new species have been named to honor notable figures in conservation and primatology, as well as some of the donors and foundations who have supported their work. The new species described here include:

Lepilemur ahmansoni
Lepilemur betsileo
Lepilemur fleuretae
Lepilemur grewcocki
Lepilemur hubbardi
Lepilemur jamesi
Lepilemur milanoii
Lepilemur petteri
Lepilemur seali
Lepilemur tymerlachsoni
Lepilemur wrighti

The full publication is available in PDF format on the website for the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo. Additional information is available on the Lepilemur project webpage, including distribution maps, data matrices, and detailed information on the primers and molecular results.


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