The red-bellied lemur can be found foraging at all levels of the forest, including the ground (4), and has been recorded feeding on over 70 different plant species over the course of a year, including the introduced Chinese guava (Psidium cattleyanum) (2). It feeds mainly on fruits but will also feed on flowers and leaves depending on the season (2) (5). Invertebrates such as millipedes also make up a small proportion of their diet (2). The red-bellied lemur is cathemeral (2), but activity patterns vary and are related to the availability of preferred foods (4).
Although groups have been observed with more than one adult of each sex, red-bellied lemurs generally live in small family groups of two to six individuals, comprising an adult pair and their dependant offspring (2). Led by the dominant female, these groups travel and feed as single units throughout their 10 to 20 hectare home range, which is relatively small compared to other large-bodied lemur species (2) (5). Despite being one of the more territorial lemurs and actively defending their home range (4), neighbouring groups of red-bellied lemurs rarely show aggressive behaviour to each other (2).
Females give birth to a single infant each year between September and October (2) (5). Mortality rate in infants is high, being around 50 percent (5). Initially, the female carries the young on her belly, and then later the infant moves around to be carried on its mother’s back (2). For the next 35 days, the infant rides on the backs of both parents; however, the female rejects them after this time and the male carries the infant until it is around 100 days old (2) (5).