They have short limbs with the arms shorter than the legs. Their lower incisors and canines are long and thin which makes a dental comb, which is used in grooming. This species has a body mass, which averages 70 grams (Martin, 1972). They possess large eyes with a tapetum, adapted for a nocturnal survival. Females have an area of skin that covers the vagina when not in estrus. Females also have two pairs of mammary glands, one pectoral and one abdominal. In the face and the anogenital region large apocrine glands have been found (Glatston, 1983). The gray mouse lemur has a relatively longer tail than the russet mouse lemur, Microcebus rufus (Martin, 1972). This species is sexually dimorphic with the females being larger than the males; although Fietz (1998) disputes this claim. Females were found to have longer skulls and canine teeth than males (Jenkins and Albrecht, 1991; Kappeler, 1996). Males and females have body masses which fluctuate in terms of being dimorphic (Schmid and Kappeler, 1998). Females have a higher body mass at the end of the wet season, and males have a higher body mass at the end of the dry season (Schmid and Kappeler, 1998). Male testes size increases 100% between August and October (Schmid and Kappeler, 1998). The gray mouse lemur has a pelage color which is light silver or rosy brown dorsally and gray tipped with white or off-white ventrally (Tattersall, 1982). There is a distinct median dorsal stripe present on this species (Tattersall, 1982). The tail is brown and becomes darker more distally (Tattersall, 1982). The forehead is a light russet color, the cheeks are lighter than the dorsal color, and the throat matches the color of the ventral side (Tattersall, 1982). The ears of this species are naked and long (Tattersall, 1982).
[Gray Mouse Lemur]
Last Updated: January 25, 2007.
[Primate Fact Sheets]