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Flora and Fauna

A short, but colorful life – The Madagascan moon moth

One of the most beautiful lepidopterans of the Earth, but first of all one of the largest, lives in Madagascar’s rainforests: The Madagascan moon moth or comet moth (Argema mittrei). With a wingspan up to 20 cm, it exceeds nearly all lepidopterans worldwide, only the Atlas moth (Attacus atlas) from Asia, belonging to the same family of emperor moths (Saturniidae), …

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The giraffe necked weevil

One of the most famous, but also most bizarre bugs of Madagascar can be found in the eastern rainforests of the islands: Due to its longs neck, it is called giraffe necked weevil (Trachelophorus giraffa). The best time and places to find it are the national parks of Andasibe-Mantadia, Marojejy and Ranomafana in spring. In 1860, the French entomologist Henri …

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The not really fiery red frog

Madagascar’s dense, mystical rainforests offer a home to countless endemic (i.e. only here occurring) animals. Among them is a particularly colorful representative of the Madagascar frogs, a frog with the scientific name Boophis pyrrhus (from Greek pyrrhos = fire red). It can be found on the east coast and in the southern highlands of Madagascar, from Soanierana Ivongo near the …

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The angels of the forest: Silky sifakas

The Silky Sifaka (Propithecus candidus) is one of the most beautiful and special lemurs of Madagascar, but also one of the rarest. There are only about 250 sexually mature silk sifakas left in Madagascar, otherwise they do not occur anywhere else in the world. For comparison: In Asia alone there are still around 3000 to 5000 full-grown specimens of tigers …

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The Tree of Travellers

The Ravenala, better known as the tree of travellers (Ravenala madagascariensis), belongs to the strelitzia family, although it looks more like a palm tree. Although it is now widespread all over the world and is even cultivated as a decoration plant in some homes, it originates from Madagascar and only occurs naturally there. Ravenalas grow to an average height of …

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Darwin’s orchid

As early as 1802, French colonialists in Madagascar discovered a unique, white-flowering orchid whose waxy blossom had a diameter of a good 12 cm. They had never seen anything like it, and so it was also a Frenchman named Du Petit-Thouars, who 20 years later wrote down a description of the peculiar flower for the first time. He called it …

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The rarest lemur on Earth: Perrier’s Sifaka

Practically the counterpart to the white Silky Sifaka is the closely related Black Sifaka or Perrier’s Sifaka (Propithecus perrieri). With a height of 85 to 92 cm and a weight of three to six kilograms, it belongs to the larger lemurs, with the tail accounting for up to 46 cm of its total length. Suitably to the name these animals …

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Secret kings of the North: Golden crowned sifakas

In an incredibly hot, dry and inaccessible area in north-eastern Madagascar live white lemurs, which owe their name to the golden fur on their heads: the Golden Crowned Sifakas (Propithecus tattersalli). The secret kings of the north reach a height of just 95 cm with a weight of 3.5 kg, whereby still further 45 cm of tail come in addition. …

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Widely spread, hardly researched: Crowned Sifakas

In the northwest of Madagascar live lemurs, which occur quite frequently, but are nevertheless hardly researched: The Crowned Sifakas (Propithecus coronatus). Their habitat is limited by the two rivers Mahavavy in the southwest and Betsiboka in the northeast. Today, however, there are indications that the species is much more widespread and also populates areas around Tsiroanomandidy, Amboloando (south of Miandrivazo) …

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No life without the Ocotillo: Verreaux’ Sifakas

The Verreaux’ Sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi) lives in the south of Madagascar and belongs to the few lemurs that successfully colonize the hot and hostile spiny forests. It is a very adaptable species that can survive even in very small forest areas. It can even be found in some lowland rainforests in the southeast of the eighth continent. In the northwest, the …

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