Subfamilia Lemurinae


General characteristics

This subfamily is proposed to subdivide the family Lemuridae into three subfamilies: subfamily Eulemurinae, subfamily Vareciinae and subfamily Lemurinae. Presently most primatologists consider that the hapalemurs are taxonomically closer to the genus Lemur than to the genus Eulemur. Thus, a case of splitting was thought to be necessary to separate the genera Lemur and Hapalemur from the genus Eulemur, taking into account several DNA-sequencing results (most of the work of Yoder especially Yoder and Irwin, 1999) as well as certain anatomical, cytogenetic and behavioral characters of these species (Yoder, 1996, combined DNA and morphological data, phylo tree Yoder; Macedonia and Stanger, 1994, communications signals,phylo tree Macedonia & Stanger; Dutrillaux and Rumpler, 1995, karyotypic analysis,cladogram Dutrillaux & Rumpler; phylo tree Dutrillaux & Rumpler; Takahashi and Kondo, 1977; Rumpler and Dutrillaux, 1978; Rumpler and Dutrillaux, 1990; Petter et al., 1977).

The subfamily Hapalemurinae is an already described taxon, but the use of this name is for this group not according to the laws of systematic priorities, because this taxon includes the nominal species (Lemur catta) to all lemurs and should be given such a name.