What kinds of monkeys live in Thailand?
If you visit Thailand, 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!
18 monkey species that live in Thailand:
#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 Thailand 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 Thailand 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 Thailand 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 Thailand 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 Thailand 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 Thailand 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 Thailand, 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 Thailand 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. Bengal Slow Loris
- Nycticebus bengalensis
Also known as the Northern Slow Loris.
- Adults are 26-38 cm (10-15 in) long.
- They have huge eyes, small ears, and protruding snouts.
- Their thick wooly coats are brown-gray, with a dark stripe running across the middle of their backs. Their eyes are outlined with dark fur.
The Bengal Slow Loris loves to hang out in evergreen and deciduous forests. It may be slow, as its name suggests, but this cute primate easily moves through the dense canopy. However, be careful: it’s got sharp teeth and can deliver a painful bite if provoked!
These monkeys in Thailand are highly adapted to their environment. Thanks to their specialized eyes, they can see at night with ease. Additionally, they have opposable thumbs (like us!) that help them latch onto tree trunks. Most interestingly, female lorises combine secretions from a gland in their elbows with their saliva, creating a toxic substance they rub on their babies. This keeps predators away from their little ones!
The Bengal Slow Loris loves to eat sap and resin. It uses its sharp teeth to gouge the tree bark and its long tongue to scoop out the fluids inside. It also has a taste for nectar and occasionally feeds on swarms of insects.
#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 Thailand 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 Thailand, 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. Indochinese Gray Langur
- Trachypithecus crepusculus
- Adults are 44-61 cm (17-24 in) long with 65-86 cm (26-34 in) tails.
- They have white patches of skin around their eyes and lips.
- The thick fur on their cheeks and crowns make their heads appear triangular.
- Their blue-gray coats are lighter gray underneath.
Indochinese Gray Langurs are found in the undisturbed forests of Thailand. These majestic creatures prefer to stay high in the trees, so look up if you want to see them in action! Sadly, these wonderful creatures are constantly threatened by poaching and loss of habitat.
These playful primates love to hang out in groups of up to 20 individuals. Most of them are mama langurs and their little ones, with at least one adult male in each group. Then, with a high-pitched roar, an alpha male will let you know if you’re intruding on his land. And if you see a baby langur crying on the ground, don’t get too close! Soon, its mother will climb down to rescue it.
In terms of food, Indochinese Gray Langurs love a good feast of figs, tree gum, seeds, and bamboo shoots. But their favorite dish of all time is leaves! However, leaves take a long time to break down and don’t provide much energy, so these langurs usually doze off after eating.
#9. Indochinese Lutung
- Trachypithecus germaini
Also known as Germain’s Langur.
- Adults are about 55 cm (22 in) long, with tails up to 78 cm (31 in) long.
- They have a thick silver crest on top of their heads. Similar tufts grow out from their cheeks.
- A thin mustache adorns their bare black faces, and their coats are a blend of silver and dark gray.
Residing in lowland, mangrove, and evergreen forests, Indochinese Lutungs are most active when the sun is up. By munching on leaves and branches, these monkeys in Thailand actually help to prune and keep trees healthy! Unfortunately, despite their helpful efforts, their habitat is threatened by development and logging.
Come mealtime, Indochinese Lutungs love chowing down on lots of leaves, fruits, and flowers. Interestingly, they have a special set of microbes in their multi-chambered stomachs, which helps break down all that fibrous food. After eating, they usually take long naps while waiting for their food to digest.
Indochinese Lutungs hang out in troops with up to 50 members. When babies are born, they cling to their mamas for the first few months. These babies are also vivid orange in color, making it easy for adults to keep an eye on them. So cute!
#10. 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 Thailand!
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!
- Symphalangus syndactylus
- These tailless primates are about 90 cm (35 in) long.
- Their arms are longer than their entire bodies!
- You’ll notice their bald throat sacs inflating to the size of their heads just before they bellow out a call.
- They have thick shaggy coats of black hair.
The Siamang is the largest of all gibbon species. These formidable primates make their home in lowland and mountain forests in Thailand, especially where there’s an abundance of figs. Considering their size and speed, it’s no wonder they have no natural predators.
Siamangs are a sight to behold as they glide through the treetops with their long arms. The catch, however, is that those long arms make them look clumsy while walking on the ground. They spend most of their day searching for food, and the rest they save for relaxing. Their diet consists of fruits, tender leaves, and occasionally insects.
Siamangs live in close-knit family units of three to six individuals, and adults mate for life. They like to make their presence known to neighboring groups by singing in unison. Just make sure to cover your ears. Siamangs are known to be louder than other gibbons, with calls that can pierce through 2 km (1.2 mi) of dense jungle foliage!
#12. 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.
#13. Pileated Gibbon
- Hylobates pileatus
- Adults are 45-64 cm (18-25 in) long.
- Both sexes have thick white fur above their eyes.
- Males have black coats of fur.
- Females have cream or light gray coats, though their chests and bellies are black.
You’ll need luck finding Pileated Gibbons because they’re hidden deep in evergreen and montane forests in Thailand. When it comes to family, these gibbons stick with their partners and their children for life.
Pileated Gibbons are the ninjas of the primate world! These amazing creatures travel through the treetops at a blinding speed of 56 km/h (35 mph). In a single swing, they can launch themselves over 9 meters (30 feet) as if they’re flying. Plus, their wrists are protected by ball joints which help conserve energy during motion. While walking on land, they raise their arms over their heads for balance.
After a long day of swinging, Pileated Gibbons retire to their favorite sleeping trees. Amusingly, they fall asleep while sitting upright. The next morning, the gibbon family belts out rhythmic calls to start their day. These songs serve as a warning for neighboring troops to stay away.
#14. Pygmy Slow Loris
- Xanthonycticebus pygmaeus
- Adults are 20-23 cm (8-9 in) long with tails that are only 2 cm (1 in) from base to tip.
- They have round ears, huge brown eyes, and short muzzles.
- Dark fur surrounds their eyes; their coats are brown and noticeably paler on the undersides.
These unique primates live in tropical and evergreen forests in Aisa. Pygmy Slow Lorises may be tiny and slow, but don’t be fooled. These fascinating furballs have developed many remarkable traits to survive in their natural habitat. For example, their eyes—glowing like orbs in the dark—allow them to hunt and see through the night.
Moving slowly, Pygmy Slow Lorises are masters at hiding from predators. In fact, they can stay completely still for hours—thanks to a clever system of blood vessels that prevents their limbs from going numb. Plus, their colors blend well against tree bark, making them hard to spot!
These little hunters are always on the lookout for their next meal. Pygmy Slow Lorises munch on insects such as ants and termites, but their favorite food is tree gum or sap. To get to their sticky treats, they bite holes into trees using their sharp teeth. Then, they slurp up the sap with their long tongues.
#15. Red-shanked Douc Langur
- Pygathrix nemaeus
Also known as the Red-shanked Douc.
- Adults are 55-82 cm (22-32 in) long, with 56-74 cm (22-29 in) tails.
- They have black crowns, orange faces, and white beards.
- They boast dark gray coats with white forearms and maroon legs. A red line of fur spans their shoulders and collars.
Hold tight as we swing into the wild, wacky world of Red-shanked Douc Langurs! They love fruits but are not the neatest eaters, so watch out for pits and skins falling on your head! After eating fruit for breakfast, they spend the rest of their day foraging for leaves and buds, which can lead to some funny bouts of gas buildup and burping.
These monkeys in Thailand inhabit secluded evergreen forests.
Unfortunately, their populations are rapidly declining due to habitat destruction. As of 2020, they face a high risk of extinction.
In a typical group of Red-shanked Douc Langurs, you’ll find around 15 members. As playful creatures, both juveniles and adults love to chase each other around the thick canopy. They’re quite the agile acrobats, so you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled to catch a glimpse of them before they disappear into the greenery.
#16. 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 Thailand 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!
#17. 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 Thailand, 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!
#18. White-thighed Surili
- Presbytis siamensis
Also known as the Pale-thighed Langur.
- Adults are 41-69 cm (16-27 in) in length. They also have 58-85 cm (23-33 in) tails.
- Note the dark fur on their foreheads and their fluffy white cheeks.
- White fur covers their outer thighs.
- They have grayish-brown fur on their backs and pale fur on their underparts.
White-thighed Surilis are some of the most bashful monkeys in Thailand!
They will scurry away as soon as they spot you. They live in small family units: a few juveniles, two to four females who take turns caring for infants and a male patriarch who keeps watch for predators. He’ll let out a loud call to warn the others if danger is near.
Despite their skittish nature, White-thighed Surilis are lovable. This playful langur loves to climb, leap and swing through the rainforests and swamps of Thailand. When it gets tired, you might catch one dozing off on a sturdy branch, limbs and tail hanging from the sides.
With specialized digestive systems, White-thighed Surilis can chow down on fibrous leaves that other monkeys can’t digest. The bacteria in their guts can neutralize toxins that may sneak into their diets. They also love snacking on fruits and seeds.
For more information about animals in Thailand, check out these guides:
Which of these monkeys in Thailand is your favorite?
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