Grey mouse lemur on branch in spiny forest at night

Grey mouse lemur

The beautiful little grey mouse lemur is full of quirky contradictions: it's the largest mouse lemur, yet mouse lemurs are the world's smallest primates. It can be described as at once solitary and social, foraging at night alone and convening at common nest sites to sleep the days away with others. Grey mouse lemurs are one of Madagascar's most abundant small mammals and least threatened lemurs, yet a quarter of the population is lost to predators every year, mainly to owls. Their success in the face of this owes perhaps to their small size, high rate of reproduction and varied diet of insects, reptiles and fruit.

Scientific name: Microcebus murinus

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Gray mouse lemur,
  • Lesser mouse lemur

Watch video clips from past programmes (2 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.


The Grey mouse lemur can be found in a number of locations including: Madagascar. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Grey mouse lemur distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Tropical dry forest Tropical dry forest
Tropical dry forests, in contrast to rainforest, have to survive a long dry season each year, so the predominantly deciduous trees shed their leaves to cope with it. Sunlight can then reach the ground, so the season that's bad for the trees is good for the forest floor.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • David Attenborough's Madagascar David Attenborough's Madagascar

    Like nowhere else on Earth, the mystery and magic of Madagascar leaves a vivid impression on all those who visit, and none more so than David Attenborough.