Skip to main content
sdzglibrarybanner San Diego Zoo Global Library

Coquerel's Sifaka (Propithecus coquereli) Fact Sheet: Diet & Feeding


Primarily folivores (from Mittermeier et al. 2010; Mittermeier et al. 2013)

  • Leaves compose the majority of the diet
    • Also consume flowers, fruit, bark, and dead wood
  • Diverse diet
    • Feed on nearly 100 different plant species

Principal plants consumed (from Richard 1974)

  • Drypetes sp.
  • Cedrelopsis sp.
  • Capurodendron microlobum
  • Commiphora pervilleana
  • Combretum sp.
  • Protorhus deflexa

Incidentally consume insects (Richard 1974)

Seasonally variable diet (from Mittermeier et al. 2010; Richard 1978)

  • Wet season
    • Young leaves, flower, fruit, bark, and dead wood
  • Dry season
    • Mature leaves and buds


Food acquisition (from Richard 1978)

  • Secure most food with teeth
    • Gouge bark and dead wood with toothcomb
    • Molars and premolars tear off pieces
  • Hands bring branches within reach of the mouth
  • Body postures
    • Sit on or cling (vertically) to tree branches; most common feeding posture
    • Hang from branches with various combinations of fore- and hindlimbs
      • Dangle from all four limbs
      • Suspend upside down by the hindfeet
    • Lie, "spread-eagle" over a network of fine twigs

Consume food where found, most often (Richard 1978)

  • Rarely carry food; observed following theft attempt

Uncommonly forage on the ground (Richard 1978)

Feeding Behavior

a sifaka eating fruit

Most foods are consumed where they are found.

Sifaka often sit on or dangle from tree branches while having a meal.

Image credit: © F Vassen from Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Page Citations

Mittermeier et al. (2010)
Mittermeier et al. (2013)
Richard (1974)
Richard (1978)

SDZG Library Links