Lemurs are herbivores and they typically feed on plant foods such as pollen, leaves, seed pods, nectar, seeds, and fruits. They supplement their diet with some insects and other small vertebrates and invertebrates including birds’ eggs. The smallest lemur species typically rely on fruits and insects while the larger species are almost exclusively herbivorous.
What Do Lemurs Eat
The ringtail lemurs are opportunistic feeders. During the dry winter season, most of their diet is composed of tamarind. They also eat variety of different plant species including herbs, sap, barks, and flowers. The ringtails also consume cocoons, spiders, cicadas, spider webs, caterpillars, birds and chameleons.
Coquerel’s giant mouse lemur is a frugivorous species but it also eats secretions produced by bugs of the family Flattifdae during dry season.
Lemurs are arboreal creatures which mean they spend most of their time in the trees. This explains why the much of their diet consists of trees, lianas, shrubs and other woody plants. The ringtail lemurs typically feed on herbs.
The golden bamboo lemur eats exclusively bamboo (Cathariostachys madagascariensis). Many larger species rely solely on leaves especially indriids. There are few smaller lemurs such as woolly lemurs and sportive lemurs which are also known to consume leaves. Lemurs are believed to eat 82 native plants species in total.
They fancy eating young shoots or leaves instead of mature leaves.
Eight of the lemur species are seed predators.
Dwarf and mouse lemurs have a staple diet of fruits and insects. However they do feed on plants exudates (gums). While dwarf lemurs primarily consume fruits, mouse lemurs seem to balance their diet with fruits and insects.
Cheirogaleus and Phaner are generally known to feed on nectar from flowers.
Fork-crowned lemurs are mostly found on tree trunks searching for gums.
Brown lemurs survive on fruit, flowers, and young leaves. Diet varies with the habitat.
During the dry season, lemurs almost entirely rely on fruits whereas in the rainy season leaves become the essential part of their diet.
Red-bellied lemurs search for flowers, fruits, and leaves of 30 tropical forest plants.