All the Malagasy lemurs, which agree in the structure of the internal ear, are now included in the family Lemuridae, confined to Madagascar and the Comoro Islands, which comprises the great majority of the group. The other families are the Nycticebidae, common to tropical Asia and Africa, and the Tarsiidae, restricted to the Malay countries.
The gentle lemurs (Hapalemur) have a rounder head, with smaller ears and a shorter muzzle, and also a bare patch covered with spines on the fore-arm.
The sportive lemurs (Lepidolemur) are smaller than the typical species of Lemur, and the adults generally lose their upper incisors.
Like the gentle lemurs they are nocturnal.
The foot resembles that of the other lemurs in its large opposable great toe with a flat nail; but all the other toes have pointed compressed claws.