I review the distributions of, and chromatic variation within, two subspecies pairs of the lemur species Propithecus diadema and P. verreauxi, in east-central and western Madagascar, respectively. On the basis of ‘new’ distribution information, P. d. holomelas Günther (1875) is synonymized with P.D. edwardsi A. Grandidier (1871); evidence for the synonymy of P.v. coronatus Milne-Edwards (1871) with P. v. deckeni Peters (1870) is found to be strong but not yet compelling. Our inability to resolve this systematic question at present is primarily due to the dearth of precise distribution data. The lack of adequate information of this kind on almost all lemur species is the major stumbling-block to our understanding of the Malagasy primate fauna as a whole, and acquisition of such data should be a high priority. A new observation is reported which substantially extends the known range of P. v. coronatus.

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