The grey mouse-lemur is an opportunistic feeder that leaps among the branches and the forest floor, moving about on all fours (2) (3). On the ground, the grey mouse-lemur moves in a frog-like fashion, while in the trees it leaps about using its hind legs like a spring (6).
Depending on the geographical location, the season and on their respective abundance the grey mouse-lemur will feed on insects, gum, fruits, flowers and even small vertebrates such as frogs, geckos and chameleons (2) (3) (7) (9). It will also eat sugary secretions, or ‘honeydew’, produced by the larvae of certain insects, and these secretions may become an important food source for the grey mouse-lemur during the dry season (9). The grey mouse-lemur usually feeds solitarily (3) (10).
The social organisation of the grey mouse-lemur is quite complex and is referred to as a ‘multi-male/multi-female’ system (2) (10). It seems that females compose the nucleus of a population, with some males close to the centre and others scattered around (10). Each grey mouse-lemur occupies a small home range, with the ranges of all group members overlapping in a central area. The home range of a male grey mouse-lemur is much larger than that of a female, and increases in size during the mating season (2) (3).
The grey mouse-lemur is nocturnal (3) and sleeps in a tree hole, dense vegetation or a nest of dead leaves during the day (2) (3), often with up to 15 other individuals (3). Each grey mouse-lemur may use between three and nine different tree holes or nests, and typically occupies each one for several consecutive days (2) (3). Although males usually sleep alone, males and females may sometimes share a nest during the breeding season (3).
To save energy during periods of inactivity, the grey mouse-lemur may enter into a so-called state of daily torpor, which is characterised by a drop in body temperature (2) (3) (7). During the wet season, when temperatures are higher and more food is available, this species is more active, and it will also breed during this time. In contrast, during the cooler dry season there is no sexual activity and the grey mouse-lemur may undergo more extended periods of torpor, living off fat reserves it has accumulated (2) (3) (7) (9).
The activity levels of this species vary between populations, with some not showing seasonal torpor while in others females may become totally inactive and remain dormant in their nest holes for up to five months (2) (3). Males rarely remain inactive for more than a few days, and become fully active again before the females (3).
The breeding season of the grey mouse-lemur runs from September to March (3), and this species is thought to have a promiscuous mating system (5). Interestingly, the female has a specific high-frequency call that she uses when she is ready to mate (3) (10). The female grey mouse-lemur typically gives birth to twins after a gestation period of around 60 days (2) (3) (11), and may produce two litters each year (2) (11).
Young grey mouse-lemurs become independent within about two months, and are able to begin breeding in their first year of life (2) (3) (11). Related female grey mouse-lemurs tend to remain in the same area after reaching maturity, whereas males move away from the area in which they were born (2) (3). This species may live for 3 to 4 years in the wild, but can survive for up to 14 years in captivity (11). In the wild it faces a range of predators, including birds of prey, owls, mammals such as mongooses, and snakes (3).