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Natural History of the Mammalia of India and Ceylon - by Robert A. Sterndale F.R.G.S., F.Z.S. (1884)
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7. SEMNOPITHECUS vel PRESBYTES JOHNII. The Malabar Langur (Jerdon's No. 4).

HABITAT.—The Malabar Coast, from N. Lat. 14° or 15° to Cape Comorin.

DESCRIPTION.—Above dusky brown, slightly paling on the sides; crown, occiput, sides of head and beard fulvous, darkest on the crown; limbs and tail dark brown, almost black; beneath yellowish white.—Jerdon.

SIZE.—Not quite so large as P. entellus.

This monkey was named after a member of the Danish factory at Tranquebar, M. John, who first described it. It abounds in forests, and does not frequent villages, though it will visit gardens and fields, where, however, it shuns observation.

The young are of a sooty brown, or nearly black, without any indication of the light-coloured hood of the adult.

8. SEMNOPITHECUS vel PRESBYTES JUBATUS. The Nilgheri Langur (Jerdon's No. 5).

HABITAT.—The Nilgheri Hills (Nilgiri Hills), the Animallies, Pulneys, the Wynaad, and all the higher parts of the range of the Ghâts as low as Travancore.

DESCRIPTION.—Dark glossy black throughout, except head and nape, which are reddish brown; hair very long; in old individuals a greyish patch on the rump.—Jerdon.

SIZE.—Length of head and body, 26 inches; tail, 30.

This monkey does not, as a rule, descend lower than 2,500 to 3,000 feet; it is shy and wary. The fur is fine and glossy, and is much prized (Jerdon). Its flesh is excellent food for dogs (McMaster).

Dr. Anderson makes this synonymous with the last.


HABITAT.—Assam, Chittagong, Tipperah.

DESCRIPTION.—General colour dark ashy grey, with a slight ferruginous tint; darker near head and on shoulders; underneath and on the inside of the limbs pale yellowish, with a darker shade of orange or golden yellow on the breast and belly. The crown of the head is densely covered with bristly hairs, regularly disposed and somewhat elongated on the vertex so as to resemble a cap, whence the name. Along the forehead is a superciliary crest of long black bristles, directed outwardly; whiskers full and down to the chin: behind the ears is a small tuft of white hairs; the tail is long, one third longer than the body, darker near the end, and tufted; fingers and toes black.

SIZE.—A little smaller than P. entellus.

This monkey is found in Northern Assam, Tipperah and southwards to Tenasserim; in Blyth's 'Catalogue of the Mammals of Burmah' it is mentioned as P. chrysogaster (Semnopithecus potenziani of Bonaparte and Peters). He writes of it: "Females and young have the lower parts white, or but faintly tinted with ferruginous, and the rest of the coat is of a pure grey; the face black, and there is no crest, but the hairs of the crown are so disposed as to appear like a small flat cap laid upon the top of the head. The old males seem always to be of a deep rust-colour on the cheeks, lower parts, and more or less on the outer side of the limbs; while in old females this rust colour is diluted or little more than indicated."

Dr. Anderson says that a young one he had was of a mild disposition, which however is not the character of the adult animal, which is uncertain, and the males when irritated are fierce, and determined in attack. No rule, however, is without its exception, for one adult male, possessed by Blyth, is reported as having been an exceeding gentle animal.


HABITAT.—Tipperah, Tenasserim.

DESCRIPTION.—No vertical crest of hair on the head, nor is the occipital hair directed downwards, as in the next species. Shoulders and outside of arm silvered; tail slightly paler than body, "which is of a blackish fuliginous hue."

More information is required about this monkey, which was named by Blyth after its donor to the Asiatic Society, the Rev. J. Barbe. Blyth considered it as distinct from P. Phayrei and P. obscurus, which last is from Malacca.

Dr. Anderson noticed it in the valley of the Tapeng in the centre of the Kakhyen Hills, in troops of thirty to fifty, in high forest trees overhanging the mountain streams. Being seldom disturbed, they permitted a near approach.


HABITAT.—Arracan, Malayan Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo.

DESCRIPTION.-Colour dusky grey-brown above, more or less dark, with black hands and feet; a conspicuous crest on the vertex; under parts white, scarcely extending to the inside of the limbs; sides grey like the back; whiskers dark, very long, concealing the ears in front; lips and eyelids conspicuously white, with white moustachial hairs above and similar hairs below.

SIZE.—Two feet; tail, 2 feet 6 inches.

This monkey was named by Blyth after Captain (now Sir Arthur) Phayre, who first brought it to his notice; but he afterwards reconciled it as being synonymous with Semnopithecus cristatus. The colouring, according to different authors, seems to vary considerably, which causes some confusion in description. It differs from an allied species, S. maurus, in selecting low marshy situations near the banks of streams. Its favourite food is the fruit of the Nibong palm (Oncosperma filamentosa).


HABITAT.—Mergui and the Malayan Peninsula.

DESCRIPTION.—Adults ashy or brownish black, darker on forehead, sides of face, shoulder, and sides of body; the hair on the nape is lengthened and whitish. The newly-born young are of a golden ferruginous colour, which afterward changes to dusky-ash colour, the terminal half of the tail being last to change; the mouth and eyelids are whitish, but the rest of the face black.

SIZE.—Body, 1 foot 9 inches; tail, 2 feet 8 inches.

This monkey is most common in the Malayan Peninsula, but has been found to extend to Mergui, where Blyth states it was procured by the late Major Berdmore. Dr. Anderson says it is not unfrequently offered for sale in the Singapore market.


NATIVE NAME.—Kallu Wanderu.

HABITAT.—The low lands of Ceylon.

DESCRIPTION.—General colour cinereous black; croup and inside of thighs whitish; head rufescent brown; hair on crown short, semi-erect; occipital hairs long, albescent; whiskers white, thick and long, terminating at the chin in a short beard, and laterally angularly pointed; upper lip thinly fringed with white hairs; superciliary hairs black, long, stiff and standing erect; tail albescent and terminating in a beard tuft; face, palms, soles, fingers, toes and callosities black; irides brown.—Kellaart.

SIZE.—Length, 20 inches; tail 24 inches.

Sir E. Tennent says of this monkey that it is never found at a higher elevation than 1,300 feet (when it is replaced by the next species).

"It is an active and intelligent creature, little larger than the common bonneted macaque, and far from being so mischievous as others of the monkeys in the island. In captivity it is remarkable for the gravity of its demeanour and for an air of melancholy in its expression and movements, which are completely in character with its snowy beard and venerable aspect. In disposition it is gentle and confiding, sensible in the highest degree of kindness, and eager for endearing attention, uttering a low plaintive cry when its sympathies are excited. It is particularly cleanly in its habits when domesticated, and spends much of its time in trimming its fur and carefully divesting its hair of particles of dust. Those which I kept at my house near Colombo were chiefly fed upon plantains and bananas, but for nothing did they evince a greater partiality than the rose-coloured flowers of the red hibiscus (H. rosa sinensis). These they devoured with unequivocal gusto; they likewise relished the leaves of many other trees, and even the bark of a few of the more succulent ones."


NATIVE NAME.—Maha Wanderu.

HABITAT.—The mountainous district of Ceylon.

DESCRIPTION.—Fur long, almost uniformly greyish black; whiskers full and white; occiput and croup in old specimens paler coloured; hands and feet blackish; tail long, getting lighter towards the lower half. The young and adults under middle age have a rufous tint, corresponding with that of the head of all ages.

SIZE.—Body about 22 inches; tail, 26 inches.

The name Wanderu is a corruption of the Singhalese generic word for monkey, Ouandura, or Wandura, which bears a striking resemblance to the Hindi Bandra, commonly called Bandar—b and v being interchangeable—and is evidently derived from the Sanscrit Banur, which in the south again becomes Wanur, and further south, in Ceylon, Wandura. There has been a certain amount of confusion between this animal and Inuus silenus, the lion monkey, which had the name Wanderu applied to it by Buffon, and it is so figured in Cuvier. They are both large monkeys, with great beards of light coloured hair, but in no other respect do they resemble. Sir Emerson Tennent says: "It is rarely seen by Europeans, this portion of the country having till very recently been but partially opened; and even now it is difficult to observe its habits, as it seldom approaches the few roads which wind through these deep solitudes. At early morning, ere the day begins to dawn, its loud and peculiar howl, which consists of quick repetition of the sound how-how! may be frequently heard in the mountain jungles, and forms one of the characteristic noises of these lofty situations." This was written in 1861; since then much of the mountainous forest land has been cleared for coffee-planting, and the Wanderu either driven into corners or become more familiarised with man. More therefore must be known of its habits by this time, and information regarding it is desirable.

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