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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Capped Langur

Family : Cercopithecidae
Species : Trachypithecus pileatus

Head-body length : 
males up to ~70 cm, females up to ~60 cm
Tail length : males up to ~104 cm, females up to ~90 cm
Weight : males up to ~14 kg, females up to ~10 kg

Trachypithecus pileatus (Capped Langur, Bonneted Langur) occurs in northwestern Myanmar, Bangladesh, northeast India, Bhutan and southwest China at elevations of up to 3000 metres. Various subspecies are recognised. IUCN (Das et al, 2020) categorise the species as a whole as Vulnerable.

Trachypithecus pileatus pileatus ('Blond-bellied Langur') is the subspecies whose range extends into Southeast Asia i.e. northwestern Myanmar; IUCN assess this subspecies as Endangered (Das et al, 2021).  

Within Myanmar this striking primate occurs west of the Chindwin river, in the Chin Hills south to Mount Victoria. Its exact population size in this area is unknown, but is clearly decreasing due to loss of forest habitat and illegal hunting for the bush meat and pet trades (Thompson et al, 2023).

Its preferred habitats include various type of closed and open forest, and bamboo groves. It is mainly arboreal in habits, but at times will descend to the ground. Its diet comprises young leaves. (Francis, 2019).

Most Trachypithecus pileatus have dark to blackish fur on top of the head, and a dark face. Its body fur is overall greyish to pale brownish, and its underparts and facial hair are pale yellowish or pale orange. Its long tail has a broad dark tip. 

Figs 1 and 2 : Adult example from montane forest in Bhutan (subspecies Trachypithecus pileatus tenebricus). Photos thanks to Ng Bee Choo.  

References :

Das, J., Chetry, D., Choudhury, A. & Bleisch, W. 2020. Trachypithecus pileatus (errata version published in 2021). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T22041A196580469

Das, J., Bleisch, W., Chetry, D. & Choudhury, A. 2020. Trachypithecus pileatus ssp. pileatus (errata version published in 2021). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T195360310A195362972

Francis, C.M. 2019. A Field Guide to the Mammals of South-east Asia. Second Edition.  New Holland. 416 pp.

Thompson, C., Lwin, N., Aung, P. P., Aung, T. H., Htike, T. S. M., San, A. M., ... & Evans, T. S. (2023). The status of primates and primatology in Myanmar. Global Ecology and Conservation, e02662.

Fig 1
ゥ  Ng Bee Choo
Fig 2
ゥ  Ng Bee Choo