Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia


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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Long-tailed Macaque

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6

Fig 7

Fig 8


Family : Cercopithecidae
Species : Macaca fascicularis

Head-body length : 40-47 cm
Tail length : 50-60 cm
Weight, male : 5-7 kg
Weight, female : 3-4 kg

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Probably the most successful primate species in Southeast Asia (besides Homo sapiens), the Long-tailed Macaque is to be found in a wide range of habitats including primary and secondary forest, mangroves, plantations and the outskirts of towns and villages. Its success is largely due to a varied diet of fruits, leaves, small mammals and birds, shellfish and crabs, as well as human leftovers.

It can be identified by the length of its tail, by the shape of the muzzle, and its colour, which is generally grey-brown or reddish-brown. It has a noisy, aggressive temperament and sometimes travels in large troupes of up to 30.    

The species ranges from Indochina, Southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia to Sumatra, Java, Borneo and the Philippines. In Singapore it is the commonest primate.

Fig 1 : Female with young at Lower Peirce Forest, Singapore.

Fig 2 : Feeding on ripe figs of Ficus chartacea, at the edge of Bukit Timah forest, Singapore.

Fig 3 : Female at Langkawi, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 4 : Young adult male at Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Fig 5 : Trio of young adults at Macritchie, Singapore.

Fig 6 : Young adults grooming at Gunung Pulai, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 7 : These 3 juvenile macaques like to stick close together.

Fig 8 : Example from Pulau Pinang, Peninsular Malaysia with unusually long fur.

References : M1, M2