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

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6

Fig 7


Family : Cercopithecidae
Species : Macaca nemestrina

Head-body length : up to 58 cm
Tail length : up to 23 cm
Weight, male : 7-9 kg
Weight, female : 4-6 kg

The Sunda Pig-tailed Macaque inhabits primary forest, but will venture to adjacent cultivated areas in search of fruits. In common with other macaques its diet may include small vertebrates and invertebrates.

This species is of stocky build with creamy-brown fur on the flanks, darker fur along the back, white underparts, and dark brown fur on the crown. It is most easily distinguished from the closely related Northern Pig-tailed Macaque by the absence of diagonal lines which extend upwards from the corner of each eye in the latter species.

Troupes of up to 40 animals are documented, but typically group size is around 10 animals or so. Mixed troupes with other macaques may also be seen : the species sometimes associates with the Long-tailed Macaque.

Traditionally this species of macaque is trained to climb coconut trees and to twist off the ripe coconuts with their strong hands. A strong bond develops between the macaque and its owner.

The Sunda Pig-tailed Macaque occurs in the southernmost parts of Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra (including Bangka Island to the east) and Borneo. It does not occur in Singapore.

Fig 1 : Feeding on ripe fruits of Oil Palm Elaeis guineensis at Gunung Pulai, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 2 : Adult Sunda Pig-tailed Macaque at Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 3 : Female in oestrus, with sexual swellings.

Fig 4 : Sub-adult foraging at forest edge.

Fig 5 : Male yawning, and showing off his impressive canine teeth.  Seen at Gunung Arong, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 6 : Mating pair at Gunung Arong, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia. Note the huge size difference between male and female.

Fig 7 : Another impressive male from Gunung Arong, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

References : M5