Verreaux's sifaka lives in multi-male, multi-female groups that typically consist of four to eight individuals, but may be as large as 14. Each group has a home range that is marked with scent. The group moves around each day, foraging and resting, the pattern of activity depending on the season and habitat type (2). It searches for leaves, fruits and flowers on which to feed, leaping up to nine metres between vertical trunks and occasionally descending to the ground to cross an open space (2) (6). On the ground it bounds along on its hind legs, with its arms held out and above the head for balance, in the manner of a graceful dancer (2). Importantly for a species living in a frequently dry habitat, Verreaux's sifaka seems able to tolerate conditions of drought; it gains moisture from eating the succulent leaves of certain plants (Didiereaceae species) and will also lick dew from its coat to gain extra water (2).
The mating season takes place in January and February, typically the only time that aggression may be observed as males compete for a receptive female (2) (4). After a gestation period of 162 to 170 days, a single young is born in July or August. At first, the young sifaka will stay with its mother, clinging to her belly, but at the age of one month, it will usually move around to travel on its mother’s back as she moves through the trees. This time is highly dangerous for the small infant, which has a number of predators in the forests of Madagascar. Verreaux's sifaka has a system of different calls that signal the presence of either an aerial or ground predator to the rest of the group, but still 30 percent of each year’s young are thought to be lost to the carnivorous fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox) (2). The sifaka is independent at just six months old, and is sexually mature between three and five years of age. Adult females will spend the life in the group in which they were born, while males leave their family and eventually establish themselves in a neighbouring group. Males do not remain in this new group permanently, but may move between groups several more times within their lifetime (2).