primates 
INDO-MALAYAN Tropical & Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forest

Order Primates

Suborder Strepsirrhini: Lemurs, Lorises, Galagos

This group is only represented in the tropical Asian rainforest by the Loris.  

Suborder Haplorhini: Tarsiers, Monkeys, and apes

Family Tarsiidae: 'Tarsiers'

(Bohol, Philippines)

Carlito syrichta, 'Philippine Tarsier'. Found in the south-eastern Philippines.

Family Cercopithecidae, 'Old World Monkeys'

The Old World monkeys are found across Africa and Asia. 

Macaca spp.

(Bali Barat National Park, Indonesia)

Macaca fascicularis'Long-tailed Macaque' mother and young.

(Keosemia, Cambodia)

Macaca leonina, 'Northern Pig-tailed Macaque' mother and young. Found in from India across mainland south-east Asia to Vietnam. (The Macaca nemestrina 'Southern Pig-tailed Macaque' is found in Malaysia and Indonesia).

(Jigme Dorji, Bhutan)

Macaca assamensis, 'Assamese Macaque'.

Semnopithecus spp. 'Grey Langurs'

Long limbed usually greyish monkeys mostly found in India and Sri Lanka.

(Bhutan)

Semnopithecus schistaceus, 'Himalayan/Nepal Grey Langur'. Found in the mountain forests around the Himalayan region. 

(Horton Plains, Sri Lanka)

Semnopithecus vetulus, 'Purple-faced Langur/Leaf Monkey'. Endemic to the forests of Sri-Lanka. There are several sub-species, and pictured is the higher altitude living 'shaggier' monticola. Once considered a Lutung, now placed in the genus Semnopithecus , (making it the only non-grey 'grey Langur').

Trachypithecus spp. 'Lutungs' (various leaf monkeys and langurs)

(Pala-U Waterfall, Thailand)

Trachypithecus obscurus, 'Spectacled/Dusky Leaf Monkey'.

(Indonesia)

Trachypithecus cristatus, 'Silvery Leaf Monkey/Langur/Lutung'. Found in mangroves and along forest edge on rivers. Distributed from peninsula Malaysia to Sumatra and Borneo.

(Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia)

 'Silvery Langur', leaping between trees.

Presbytis spp. 'Surilis' (various leaf monkeys and langurs)

(Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, Indonesia)

Presbytis thomasi, 'Thoma's' Leaf Monkey/Langur' is endemic to Sumatra.

(Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, Indonesia)

'Thomas Leaf Monkey/Langur' close up of striking markings on the face.

Pygathrix spp. 'Douc'

(Keosemia, Cambodia)

Doucs are long limbed and agile. There are three species. Their most distinctive feature are their colourful and contrasting faces and limbs. They are restricted to extreme mainland south-east Asia, including eastern Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and with the centre of diversity in Vietnam.

(Keosemia, Cambodia)

Pygathrix nigripes, 'Black-shanked Douc'.

Nasalis, Proboscis Monkey

Nasalis larvatus'Proboscis Monkey'. Endemic to the rainforests and swamp forests of Borneo.

(Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia)

Only the male Proboscis Monkey has a large nose.

Family Hylobatidae: 'Lesser Apes', the Gibbons

Gibbons are restricted to tropical Asia. They are often known as 'lesser apes'. They have distinctively long arms, which they use to swing through the canopy in a movement called brachiation

White-bearded Gibbon close up of face, Borneo (image by Damon Ramsey)

Hylobates albibarbis, 'Bornean White-bearded/Agile Gibbon'. Endemic to southern Borneo.

do the funky gibbon! (Jahoo, Cambodia)

Nomascus gabriellae'Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon’, northern subspecies, male.

(Jahoo, Cambodia)

Nomascus gabriellae'Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon’, northern subspecies, female and young.

(Bukit Lawang, Indonesia)

Hylobates lar, 'White-handed Gibbon' Sumatran subspecies vestitus.

Family Hominidae: 'Great Apes' including humans

Pongo spp. 'Orangutans'

There are two species (possibly three) of Orangutan. They are restricted to the forests and swamps of Sumatra and Borneo.

big flaps on the side of the face are sexy

Orangutans have extended flanges on the sides of their faces. These are much more developed in the male, and biggest in the Borneo species. Females prefer and mate more with males that have large face flanges.

Orangutans are the largest of arboreal animals. They generally don't leap or swing through the treetops; their technique is to grab a branch and pull it over, and then climb onto it. Sometimes they make the branch they are sitting in swing back and forth to get closer to their next handhold. This sounds slow, but they can move through the canopy quite fast; I have followed one and I was making a brisk walking pace.

(Bukit Lawang, Indonesia)

Pongo abelli, ‘Sumatran Orangutan’ mother and young. Restricted to the island of Sumatra, and within that island, tend to be found more in the north. Orangutan mothers usually raise just one or two young, and the kids stay with mom longer than any other primate, besides humans. 

(Sepilok, Malaysian Borneo)

Pongo pygmaeus, ‘Bornean Orangutan’.

For the page on the Asian tropical rainforest


Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? The first expedition I am booked to work on after the virus is Micronesia, New Guinea & Indonesia in 2021 with Silversea. Meanwhile I am giving a lecture on the Sunshine Coast (Australia) on the "Sounds of suburban south-east Queensland"