New Lemur Species

Molecular Research Reveals New Woolly Lemur Species

A new species of woolly lemur has been described in a report just published by researchers from the University of Antananarivo and the Henry Doorly Zoo of Omaha. Continuing their series of phylogenetic revisions of Malagasy lemurs, E. E. Louis Jr. and his colleagues conducted a comprehensive study of the genus Avahi, combining data from molecular, morphological and phenotypic characters. This represents the first full phylogenetic analysis of the genus as a whole, including several species only recently described. In addition to describing the newly recognized Betsileo woolly lemur, Avahi betsileo, the authors also elevate two former subspecies of woolly lemur to species status, for a total of eight species in the genus Avahi.

The full publication is available as a PDF on the website for the Center for Conservation and Research of the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo. Extensive supplementary information — including field data, primers and haplotypes, and morphmetric summary statistics — is available on the CCR's project website for the woolly lemurs.


Andriantompohavana, R., Lei, R., Zaonarivelo, J. R., Engberg, S. E., Nalanirina, G., McGuire, S. M., Shore, G. D., Andrianasolo, J., Herrington, K., Brenneman, R. A. and Louis Jr., E. E. 2007. Molecular phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the woolly lemurs, genus Avahi (Primates: Lemuriformes). Texas Tech University Special Publications: 51: 1-59.