Pygmy mouse lemur

One of the world’s smallest primates, the head and body length is less than 6.5cm (2.5 in), and it weighs only about 30g (1.06 oz)


Pygmy mouse lemur


One of the world’s smallest primates, the head and body length is less than 6.5cm (2.5 in), and it weighs only about 30g (1.06 oz)

30% decline over the past 15 years

Enchantingly referred to as the dormouse lemur or Peters’ mouse lemur, it is a diminutive and elusive primate that once skirted the brink of extinction. Believed to have vanished, this tiny lemur captured the world’s attention when it was rediscovered in 1993 within the dense, dry, deciduous forests of the Kirindy region in western Madagascar.

Sporting a captivating rufous-brown coat along its dorsal side and a contrasting creamy-white underbelly, the Pygmy mouse lemur is a creature of stark beauty and delicate features. Its disproportionately large ears and eyes, relative to its petite body size, are not merely distinctive physical traits but are also adaptations that enhance its nocturnal lifestyle. These large eyes help capture as much light as possible, improving its vision under the cover of night, while its sensitive ears pick up on the subtle sounds of the forest, alerting it to predators and prey alike.

Inhabiting the dry deciduous forests that dot the landscape of Madagascar, the Pygmy mouse lemur has adapted to a life predominantly in the trees. This arboreal existence serves multiple purposes, from offering safety from ground-based predators to providing access to their varied diet. Despite their small stature, these lemurs are frugivores at heart, feasting on the fruits that seasonally adorn their forested home. Their diet is further diversified with the addition of gums, flowers, and insects, which supplement their nutritional intake and ensure their survival in the diverse ecosystem of Madagascar.

The choice to avoid leaves as a food source is strategic, born from the evolutionary arms race between plants and herbivores in dry climates. Many plants in these regions have developed toxins as a defense mechanism against leaf-eating animals. For the Pygmy mouse lemur, whose diminutive size makes them particularly vulnerable to such toxins, ingesting leaves could prove fatal.


Population est.

Anything we've missed?

Help us improve this page by suggesting edits. Glory never dies!

Suggest an edit

Get to know me

Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No