What kinds of monkeys live in Myanmar?
If you visit Myanmar, it’s only natural to ask yourself the above question. I mean, who doesn’t want to see monkeys!?
Luckily, there are quite a few species you should be able to find. So, keep reading to learn how to identify each primate. Plus, you are going to learn some fun and interesting facts. Pictures and range maps are also included!
14 monkey species that live in Myanmar:
#1. Long-tailed Macaque
- Macaca fascicularis
Also known as the Crab-eating Macaque or Cynomolgus Monkey.
- Adults are 38-55 cm (15-22 in) long with tails that reach 40-65 cm (16-26 in).
- They have gray or brown coats that grow paler on the underparts and a white strip of hair on the upper lip that looks like a mustache.
Long-tailed Macaques make their home in shrublands, lowland rainforests, and coastal forests. But watch out; these cheeky monkeys in Myanmar might sometimes raid farms or dumpsters for a snack. They’re even known to steal food right from your hand!
Speaking of snacks, these monkeys in Myanmar aren’t picky.
They love fruit, but they’ll also forage for roots, leaves, and small critters. Plus, they’re super smart! They peel sweet potatoes with their teeth, wash their food before eating, and use rocks to bash clams, crabs, and oysters open.
Long-tailed Macaques are social creatures. They live in groups of 20 to 100, mostly made up of females and their young. When the males grow up, they venture out to find a new group of their own. Fights within a group are frequent, but these clever monkeys in Myanmar usually reconcile afterward to keep the peace.
#2. Rhesus Macaque
- Macaca mulatta
Also known as the Rhesus Monkey.
- Adults are 47-53 cm (19-21 in) long, and their tails are 21-23 cm (8-9 in).
- They have bare pink faces and large ears.
- Their fur coats are pale auburn or grayish brown.
These monkeys in Myanmar thrive in various habitats, from grasslands to wooded regions and tropical forests. If you’re lucky enough to come across a troop, you might see up to 200 individuals hanging out, even in urban areas. You’ll quickly notice that Rhesus Macaques are energetic and social! Always on the move, they love to play on the ground and in the trees. However, they become lazier during the hotter seasons.
When it’s snack time, these monkeys love to chow down on fruits, roots, bark, and even bugs! They’ve got cheek pouches that act like little food storage units. Just be wary of Rhesus Macaques that comb through garbage cans. They might be a little too comfortable around humans and try to snag your snacks!
Unfortunately, rival groups of these monkeys in Myanmar tend to be violent. They’ll even attempt to kill each other upon their first meeting. Fighting within groups is also common. And once they’ve had a conflict, they tend to hold grudges for life!
#3. Assam Macaque
- Macaca assamensis
Also known as the Assamese Macaque.
- Adults are 51-74 cm (20-29 in) long, with 15-30 cm (6-12 in) tails.
- Their faces are pale and hairless.
- Their coats range from light gray to reddish brown. Pale-colored hair covers their chests and bellies.
You can find these monkeys in Myanmar in groups of up to 50 individuals!
Assam Macaques love swinging among the branches, but occasionally, they take a break on the forest floor. They rarely travel, preferring to stay within their territories. Most of their days are spent foraging for food and resting.
These primates are flexible eaters. They love to chow down on fruit when it’s abundant, but otherwise, they turn to young leaves to fill their bellies. Sometimes, these monkeys steal wheat and corn from farms. Though they accept direct handouts from humans, be careful! Interacting with this species can spread disease.
Assam Macaque males leave their troop to find their own group when they reach maturity, like most other primate species. However, unlike other monkeys in Myanmar, males actively help care for the little ones in their troops, even those they don’t share blood with.
#4. Northern Pig-tailed Macaque
- Macaca leonina
- Adults are 40-60 cm (16-24 in), with 14-25 cm (6-10 in) long tails that curl like a pig’s.
- Their puffy facial hair forms a rough heart shape.
- They have olive-gray coats of fur that are paler on the undersides.
The Northern Pig-tailed Macaque is playful and crafty. Regarding food, these monkeys know how to mix things up. They enjoy fruits, shoots, leaves, insects, and bird eggs. Just be warned: these clever creatures might sneak into human settlements searching for bread and biscuits during the colder months. Keep your windows closed!
These monkeys in Myanmar live in tree and bamboo forests.
Northern Pig-tailed Macaques are graceful in the trees and on the forest floor. Females lead social groups of up to 150 members. During feeding time, they split into smaller units. As peaceful creatures, they find it easy to share territories and coexist with neighboring troops.
#5. Capped Lutung
- Trachypithecus pileatus
Also known as the Capped Langur, Capped Leaf Monkey.
- Adults are 56-62 cm (22-24 in) long, with thick, long tails.
- Long blonde hair frames their black faces, except for the hair at the crown, which is black.
- Their coats are brown or gray, though the underparts are yellowish or orange.
These monkeys in Myanmar live in lush montane and tropical forests.
Sadly, hunting and habitat loss are threatening their population.
Capped Lutungs are a rare sight on the ground, so keep an eye on the treetops. Instead of visiting rivers and streams, they usually drink water that gathers on the leaves and cavities of trees.
The leaves that make up most of their diet are lacking in nutrition, so they need to spend a lot of time eating to get enough calories. They also consume fruits, seeds, and flowers to supplement their diet.
You’ll find Capped Lutungs lounging about when they’re not busy eating or finding food. In fact, they like to start their day by climbing to the top of the canopy and soaking up the sun’s rays. Their groups are small, with up to 14 members and an alpha male leading the way.
#6. Stump-tailed Macaque
- Macaca arctoides
Also known as the Bear Macaque.
- Adults are 49-65 cm (19-26 in) long. Their hairless tails are only 3-7 cm (1-3 in) long.
- They have bare pink faces that grow more vibrant as they age.
- Their thick coats range from pale to dark brown. You can identify older individuals by their bald spots.
Evergreen and broadleaf forests are home to Stump-tailed Macaques. Thanks to their thick and cozy fur, these resilient monkeys in Myanmar are not afraid of a little cold weather. Unlike most monkeys, they prefer staying on the ground. Their stocky, muscular bodies are built for walking, not swinging among branches!
When it comes to food, fruits are the Stump-tailed Macaque’s favorite. However, they also love munching on leaves, roots, seeds, insects, frogs, and freshwater crabs. If there’s a farm nearby, they may raid the fields for corn, rice, and potatoes. Cleverly, they use their cheek pouches to store food for later consumption.
Stump-tailed Macaques are a remarkably peaceful species. You won’t see much violence within their ranks. If confrontations happen, they quickly resolve these and restore order. Up to 60 members make up a community, with adult males acting as the protectors.
#7. Dusky Leaf Monkey
- Trachypithecus obscurus
Also known as the Spectacled Langur, Spectacled Leaf Monkey, and Dusky Langur.
- Adults are 60-67 cm (24-26 in) long with tails that are 50-85 cm (20-33 in) long.
- They have gray faces and white lips. The white rings around their eyes look like glasses!
- Their coats are shades of brown, black, or gray. The underparts are paler in contrast.
To see Dusky Leaf Monkeys in Myanmar, visit a national park.
These primates are a delightful sight and plentiful on nature reserves. In the wild, they inhabit tropical and coastal forests. Up to 20 individuals form a troop guarded by an alpha male. No need to worry about monkey business, though, because conflicts between groups are rare and usually sorted out quickly!
Dusky Leaf Monkeys are impressively acrobatic, using their long tails for balance as they jump from branch to branch. However, they have a quirky habit of sitting still for long periods, comfy and cozy on their padded bottoms. Their keen eyesight also lets them judge distances with great accuracy.
Though their teeth are specifically adapted to munch on leaves, they also love eating shoots, flowers, and fruits. Dusky Leaf Monkeys have enlarged salivary glands to help break down all that tough cellulose in their food. Plus, the bacteria in their stomachs neutralize any harmful toxins. Quite handy, if you ask me!
#8. Lar Gibbon
- Hylobates lar
Also known as the White-handed Gibbon or Malayan Lar Gibbon.
- Adults are 44-59 cm (17-23 in) long. As apes, they lack tails.
- Take note of the ring of white fur framing their black faces.
- White fur also covers their hands and feet.
- Males range from black to shades of brown, while females are cream or light brown.
Meet the eccentric Lar Gibbon, which is technically not a monkey in Myanmar!
These primates are apes, which is a different family than monkeys. They don’t have tails and tend to be larger and have broader chests than monkeys. Additionally, most apes do not have hair on their faces!
If you’re lucky, you might hear these gibbons singing in pairs to claim their territory. With powerful throat sacs, their voices can be heard up to a 1 km (0.6 mi) radius! They live in close-knit families of two to six members, forming lifelong bonds with their mates.
You won’t want to miss this primate’s acrobatic feats! Despite not having a tail, Lar Gibbons can balance on high branches by holding their long arms above their heads. Plus, this species has special wrist joints to swing through the canopy at speeds up to 56 km/h (35 mph)! They can clear a gap of 8 meters (26.2 feet) between trees in a single leap.
Lar Gibbons have a diet of fruits, shoots, leaves, and insects. However, their favorite food is ripe figs. As the day ends, they retire to the tallest trees, where they amusingly sleep upright. But don’t worry, their rumps are covered with leathery skin, so they don’t fall off!
#9. Southern Pig-tailed Macaque
- Macaca nemestrina
Also known as the Sundaland Pig-tailed Macaque, Sunda Pig-tailed Macaque, and Berok.
- Adults are 38-58 cm (15-23 in) long. They have curled, pig-like tails measuring 13-25 cm (5-10 in) long.
- There’s a dark patch of hair on the crown of their heads, and short dark lines run vertically from the outer rims of their eyes.
- Their coats are yellowish brown to gray.
Southern Pig-tailed Macaques are a lively species that gather in bands of 15 to 40 individuals. They are expert climbers, but they prefer walking on land. Male ranks are determined by physical strength, while female ranks are inherited from their mothers. Amusingly, females “kiss” after fighting to make amends.
What makes Southern Pig-tailed Macaques unique among primates is that they love water. So if you happen upon a river, keep an eye out for these monkeys swimming along the currents.
Southern Pig-tailed Macaques split into smaller groups when foraging for food. They climb to the tops of trees in search of their favorite fruits, like papayas and figs. If they’re near a farm, they might even raid a cornfield. One monkey acts as a sentry, and if it spots danger, it will sound an alarm call to alert the troop.
#10. Black Crested Gibbon
- Nomascus concolor
Also known as the Western Black Crested Gibbon.
- Adults are 43-54 cm (17-21 in) long.
- Both sexes have black faces devoid of fur.
- Males have deep black coats and white cheeks.
- Females have cream-white coats and a dark patch of hair on the crown of their heads.
Black Crested Gibbons are some of the coolest primates in Myanmar!
Unfortunately, they’re facing serious threats. Due to poaching and habitat loss over the past few decades, their population has dropped by over 80%. The remaining few thousand gibbons live in family units of six to eight, composed of an adult pair and their offspring.
Foraging for food in the treetops, Black Crested Gibbons have a taste for sugary fruits, leaves, insects, and bird eggs. Incredibly, these apes have mastered the art of swinging across branches. They can fly through the canopy by swinging from branch to branch, reaching up to 56 km/h (35 mph)! That’s over four times faster than the average human runner.
In the morning, you might be lucky enough to hear Black Crested Gibbon couples perform duets, usually led by the female. Thanks to their special throat sacs, their voices can carry across long distances. Singing together helps strengthen the bond between the gibbon couple and also warns any potential intruders to stay out of their territory.
#11. Black Snub-nosed Monkey
- Rhinopithecus bieti
Also known as the Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey.
- Adults are 51-83 cm (20-33 in) long, with tails that are 52-75 (20-30 in) long.
- Their noses are just a pair of slits rather than longer appendages.
- They have thick pink lips, and their wooly coats are dark gray, though their faces and undersides are white.
Meet the resilient Black Snub-nosed Monkey!
These unique creatures brave the freezing temperatures of their secluded forest homes. Here, they live in small families of three to five as part of a much larger community with up to 300 members. To prevent any conflicts between adult males, these families keep a respectful distance from each other.
These strange-looking monkeys have equally strange tastes. They eat lichens, which are complex organisms made up of fungi and algae. Lichens are toxic and difficult to digest, but don’t worry! Black Snub-nosed Monkeys have specialized stomachs for that. When spring arrives, they indulge in a wider variety of foods such as fruits, grasses, mushrooms, berries, and beetles.
Black Snub-nosed Monkeys start their day by heading to their favorite feeding grounds, followed by a midday nap. Afterward, they head out again in the afternoon to forage for more delicious treats. Once the night falls, they return to their sleeping trees and huddle together to share body heat, keeping them toasty on even the coldest nights.
#12. Robinson’s Banded Langur
- Presbytis robinsoni
- Adults are 43-61 cm (17-24 in) long with 61-84 cm (24-33 in) long tails.
- You’ll find pale skin below their eyes and on their lips and a triangular tuft of hair on the top of their heads.
- Adults have black coats that grow lighter on the undersides.
Rarely descending from the treetops, Robinson’s Banded Langurs are masters of the canopy. These monkeys in Myanmar form groups of up to 20 members with a unique family dynamic. Females outnumber males 5 to 1, and adults take turns caring for the young. These cute little langurs are born with vibrant reddish fur, making them easier to watch.
Robinson’s Banded Langurs can be picky eaters! If they don’t like what’s on the menu in their area, they’ll move on to a new spot. Fruits are their favorite, but they’ll also chow down on seeds and leaves. With the help of bacteria in their stomachs, they can digest even the toughest plants.
Despite its nervous and elusive nature, this monkey might give you a scare instead. Picture this: you’re strolling through the jungle when suddenly you hear what sounds like a machine gun. But, don’t worry, it’s just one of the territorial calls or predator alarms of this species!
#13. Skywalker Hoolock Gibbon
- Hoolock tianxing
Also known as the Gaoligong Hoolock Gibbon.
- Adults grow to about 81 cm (32 in).
- They have white mask-like markings on their black faces, and some specimens have pale crests of hair.
- Both sexes have dense coats. However, males are shades of brown, while females are yellowish or dark blonde.
With only 150 individuals left in their native habitat, spotting a Skywalker Hoolock Gibbon is a truly unique experience. Unfortunately, illegal poaching and habitat destruction threaten to wipe this species out completely. These rare primates are endemic to a stretch of montane and evergreen forests between China and Myanmar. Their population is scattered and isolated throughout the region.
Skywalker Hoolock Gibbons have thick fur to help them endure freezing mountain climates. During winter, they huddle close together to share body heat. You might even see one basking in the sun if you look at the highest branches! They scour the treetops for fruits, especially figs, but they also like to prey on insects and spiders.
Skywalker Hoolock Gibbons wake up in the morning with high-pitched songs to share. They call out in rhythmic patterns to announce their territories. Sometimes, they also sing to attract a partner. If they hit it off, the new couple builds a family, with usually one to two little ones in tow.
#14. Sunda Slow Loris
- Nycticebus coucang
Also known as the Greater Slow Loris.
- Adults are 27-38 cm (11-15 in).
- Dark rings frame their enormous eyes. They also have small, round ears and short muzzles.
- You’ll notice a dark strip of fur running from their foreheads and across their backs.
- They have brown coats with contrasting pale underparts.
Native to tropical rainforests in Myanmar, Sunda Slow Lorises are shy yet charming creatures. These little furballs know how to stay hidden from predators as they crawl slowly across branches to forage for food at night. Once the sun comes up, they curl into a ball and fall asleep.
Don’t be fooled by their cute appearance—these critters pack a nasty bite! Sunda Slow Lorises secrete poisonous oil from their elbows and rub it on their fur to make themselves less appetizing to predators. It’s best to let them go about eating tree sap, juicy fruits, nectar, and bugs.
Although they tend to live alone, Sunda Slow Lorises are friendly with their neighbors. Their anuses leave behind certain scents to mark where they’ve been. Though they don’t meet often, they’re always aware of each other’s whereabouts!
For more information about animals in Myanmar, check out these guides:
Which of these monkeys in Myanmar is your favorite?
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