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Propithecus verreauxi A. Grandidier, 1867

Scientific name: 
Scientist name: 
A. Grandidier, 1867
Sifaka, Sifaka-Bilany (Isalo area)
Verreaux’s Sifaka
Südlicher Kronensifaka, Südlicher Kappensifaka,Verreaux’s Sifaka
Other english: 
White Sifaka
Propithèque de Verreaux



Propithecus verreauxi, one of the smaller sifakas, is a pale form from southern and southwestern Madagascar. It has a head-body length of 40–48 cm, a tail length of 50–60 cm, a total length of 90–110 cm, and a weight of 3.0–3.5 kg (Tattersall, 1982; Kappeler, 1991; Richard et al., 2000, 2002). The pelage is long and thick, and the predominant coat color, including the tail, is white. This contrasts sharply with the black face, muzzle, hands and feet, the dark brown crown that extends down the nape of the neck in both sexes, and the reddish-brown patch found on the upper chest of males that is associated with their sternal glands. Fur on the ears is white and slightly tufted. Fur on the ventral surface is sparse, giving the abdomen a grayish appearance due to the underlying dark skin.

A distinctive color variant has been described and given the name P. verreauxi majori Rothschild, 1894, but most experts now consider it to be nothing more than a melanistic form of Verreaux’s sifaka (Tattersall, 1982; Mittermeier et al., 1994; Groves, 2001). This “majori” variant is also predominantly white, including the cheeks, ears and forehead, but has a chocolate-brown head cap, and is brownish to brownish-black on the chest, back, inside of the arms and legs, and tail, except for its white tip. It is almost always found in groups of normally colored P. verreauxi (F. Hawkins, pers. obs.).

Entirely white individuals are also occasionally observed in the midst of normally colored animals (e.g., in Berenty, R. A. Mittermeier, pers. obs.). Despite the variations of color that exist in this species, it is impossible to confuse it with any other lemur in its range.