Familia Cheirogaleidae

Gray, 1873

General characteristics

Cheirogaleidae are distributed throughout nearly all forests of Madagascar. They are nocturnal animals which, forage solitary. They run, climb and jump, generally in horizontal plane, on tree branches and through bushes and eat fruits and insects. During the day, they sleep in tree holes or nests. The female has tree pairs of mammae and two to four young ones are born in the period from November to February.
Four genera can be distinguished: genus Microcebus, genus Cheirogaleus and genus Allocebus. The genus Phaner, which was formerly placed at the same taxonomic rank as the other genera within the Cheirogaleidae is now separated in the subfamily Phanerinae Rumpler, 1974, which is a sistergroup of the Cheirogaleinae Gregory, 1915 because most of its characters and in particular its chromosome formula (2N = 48) are completely different from those of the Cheirogaleinae (Karyo P. furcifer, Karyo A. trichotis).