Red lemurs have a gray coat. Their face, muzzle and forehead are balck in color with white eyebrow patches, and htere is a black line streching from the muzzle to the forehead. Males have white or cream colored cheeks and beards, and females have rufous or cream cheeks and beards that are less bushy than males.
Red lemurs are found in western and north-western Madagascar. They occur from the Betsiboka River south to the Tsiribihina River. Red lemurs live in dry deciduous forests.
Red lemurs are cathemeral creatures which means that they are active throught day and night. These aninaks are social and live in groups, which consist of 5-18 individuals. Usually these groups contain a central male with a surrounding group. Young males often move to new groups. Unlike many other species of lemurs, groups of Red lemurs are not dominated by females. However, females have feeding priority and lead their group to food sources. During cold periods of time Red lemurs become less active and stay in groups huddling together for warmth. In order to communicate with each other these animals produce grunts and contact calls. For example, an "ohn" sound is used to keep the group together, a high pitched territorial "cree," and a "crou," are alarm calls. Red-fronted lemurs have several different types of alarm calls that include a general alarm call for carnivores and raptors and a specific alarm call used only for raptors. Red lemurs also use scent marking, rubbing the head against an object or another animal, and sniffing and licking of objects.
Red lemurs have a polygynandrous (promiscuous) mating system. This means that both males and females have multiple partners during a breeding season. These animals breed in May-June, and births usually occur during early to mid-October. Females give birth to a single baby after the gestation period that lasts around 120 days. The mother nurses her infant around 6 months after birth. During this period, the mother and her baby are separated from other members of the group. At first, the mother carries her infant on her belly and after around 1 month, the baby is able to ride on its mother’s back. Adult males do not carry or bring food for infants. They may allow infants to feed near them when the infant is able to move independently. Males may show some interest in infants, but usualy don't take care about them. Females in this species reach reproductive maturity between 2-4 years of age. Males become reproductively mature at 3-4.5 years of age.
Main threats to Red lemurs are hunting, as well as habitat destruction due to slash-and-burn agriculture, clearing of land for pasture, fuelwood gathering and logging.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Red lemur total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing.
Red lemurs consume mostly fruits and thus act as important seed dispercers in the ecosystem they live.