Types of Macaques

    Macaques are old-world monkeys hailing from the Asian continent, with a few from Africa. The word ‘Macaque’ originated from French and Portuguese[1] in the 17th century meaning “monkey“.

    Currently, 23 species of living macaques are classified under the genus Macaca in the family Cercopithecinae, and 6 extinct macaques.

    Facts about Macaques

    Macaques live as a group (20 to 50) constructed with dominant female leaders – this phenomenon is called matriarchy. However, the troop is governed by alpha males.

    • Macaque tails are in varied sizes: pig-tailed, long and moderate, or some species completely lack tails which are often confused with apes. However, there is no greater connection with true apes than in the Old-world monkey group.
    • These highly intelligent primates exhibit moderate sexual dimorphism based on body dimension (males weigh up to 40 lbs, whereas females weigh up to 29 lbs). The fur coat is mostly the same for both sexes within each species.
    • Macaques have a variety of habitats, including forests, mountains, rainforests, and scrub forests. However, macaques prefer to live in human environments for easy access to food. Due to this close association with humans, macaques pose a threat of damaging crops and carry transmittable diseases such as Yellow fever, polio, and prion[2].
    • In 1998, research suggested that nearly all macaques carry the Herpes B virus[3], which is entirely harmless to themselves but deadly for humans and pets.
    • Toque macaques are the smallest macaque species endemic to Sri Lanka, with long tails in relation to body size.
    • Tibetan macaques are the largest macaque species.

    What Do Macaques Eat?

    In the wild, most macaques are omnivores except a few herbivores such as Arunachal Macaque, Booted Macaque, Moor Macaque, Pagai Island Macaque, Tonkean Macaque, and White-cheeked Macaque. Macaques have cheek pouches to carry additional food when needed.

    All macaque species prefer to eat fruits as their primary diet. The macaque diet consists of flowers, leaves, juicy roots, tree bark, and seeds. Occasionally, small insects and small vertebrates are included in their appetite depending upon macaque species.

    Types of Macaques

    Arunachal Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca munzala
    The Arunachal macaque is a comparatively sizeable brown primate with a relatively short tail. Arunachal macaques were first classified into Cercopithecidae's taxonomy in 2005 by primatologists Madhusudan and Mishra.

    Assam Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca assamensis
    The Assam macaque, also known as Assamese macaque, is a macaque of the Old-World monkey family endemic to South and Southeast Asia. Assam is another state in India. Eating everything from fruits to 55 types of flowers, leaves, seeds, and bark, these macaque monkeys adapt their diet to suit their habitat.

    Barbary Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca sylvanus
    The Barbary macaque, also called the Magot macaque, is a macaque endemic to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria and a small introduced population in Gibraltar. Before the Ice Age, they inhabited the Mediterranean coasts and most of Europe, as far away as the British Isles and Germany.

    Bonnet Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca radiata
    The Bonnet Macaque, also called Zati, is a species of macaque native to southern India. Bonnet macaques get their common name from a unique feature: a hood-like tuft of hair that extends from the top of their head, much like a tuft of dry grass. Their marble-round eyes look out into the world with a very expressive forehead.

    Booted Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca ochreata
    The booted macaque is a macaque native to Indonesia's Sulawesi Island. This Old-World monkey is diurnal, spending most of the day in trees. A booted macaque monkey's body mass is determined by its sex, with males significantly larger than females.

    Crab-Eating Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca fascicularis
    The crab-eating macaque also called the long-tailed macaque and known in laboratories as the cynomolgus monkey, is a primate monkey endemic to Southeast Asia. Crab-eating macaque macaques live in multi-male groups comprising around 30 members.

    Crested Black Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca nigra
    The Crested Black Macaque, also called the Sulawesi Crested Macaque or Celebes Crested Macaque is an Old World monkey native to the Tangkoko Game Reserve in the extreme northeast of the Indonesian island of Celebes (Sulawesi) and neighboring islets.

    Formosan Rock Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca cyclopis
    The Formosan rock macaque also called the Taiwanese macaque, or Formosan rock monkey, is a macaque native to the island of Taiwan. Aside from humans, Formosan rock macaques are the only native primates living in Taiwan.
    Gorontalo Macaques

    Gorontalo Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca nigrescens
    The Gorontalo macaque (Macaca nigrescens), also called the Dumoga-bone macaque, is a species of the primate of the Cercopithecidae family. It is native to the Sulawesi Island of Indonesia.

    Gray-Cheeked Mangabey

    Species Name: Lophocebus albigena
    The gray-cheeked mangabey (Lophocebus albigena), also called the white-cheeked mangabey, is an Old World monkey found in the forests of central Africa. Gray-cheeked mangabeys belong to the same family (Cercopithecinae) and phylum (Papionini) as mandrills, macaques, and baboons.

    Heck’s Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca hecki
    The Heck's Macaque (Macaca hecki) is a macaque native to Sulawesi, Indonesia. This Old-World monkey is diurnal. Due to their frugivorous diet, Heck's macaques will likely act as seed dispersers throughout their habitat.

    Japanese Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca fuscata
    The Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata), also called the snow monkey, is a terrestrial Old World species of monkeys endemic to Japan. Japanese macaques from southern regions generally weigh less than those in northern regions of higher altitudes, where there is more snow during the winter months.

    Lion-Tailed Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca silenus
    The lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus), also known as the wanderoo, is an Old World monkey native to the Western Ghats of South India. Lion-tailed macaques are diurnal and arboreal.

    Moor Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca maura
    The moor macaque (Macaca maura) is a brown/black haired macaque with a pale rump and bare pink rump skin. Moor macaques appear to be a relatively tolerant macaque species, showing low levels of aggression between group members.

    Northern Pig-tailed Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca leonina
    The northern pig-tailed macaque (Macaca leonina) is a macaque species in the Cercopithecidae family. Typical of this group of Old World monkeys, northern pig-tailed monkeys are gregarious, living in social groups of 9-81 individuals.

    Pagai Island Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca pagensis
    The Pagai island macaque (Macaca pagensis), also called the Pagai or Bokkoi macaque is an Old-World monkey native to the Mentawai Islands on the west coast of Sumatra. Groups of Pagai Island macaques consist of approximately 5 to 25 individuals.

    Proboscis Monkey

    Species Name: Nasalis larvatus
    The proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) is an Old World arboreal species with an unusually large nose, reddish-brown skin color, and a long tail. The proboscis monkey is a large species and one of the largest old-world monkey species native to Asia.

    Rhesus Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca mulatta
    The rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), commonly known as the rhesus monkey, is a species of Old-World monkey. Rhesus monkeys are diurnal animals, both arboreal and terrestrial.

    Selangor Silvered Langur

    Species Name: Trachypithecus selangorensis
    The Selangor silvered langur (Trachypithecus selangorensis) is a leaf monkey living on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. Like most leaf monkeys, the Selangor silvered langur usually lives in groups of a single adult male and several adult females and their young offspring.

    Siberut Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca siberu
    The Siberut macaque (Macaca siberu) is an endangered macaque species native to the island of Siberut in Indonesia. It was previously thought to be conspecific with the Pagai Island macaque (Macaca pagensis), which is paler overall, but this arrangement was polyphyletic.

    Stump-tailed Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca arctoides
    The stump-tailed macaque, also known as the bear macaque, is an Old World monkey endemic to Cambodia, northeastern India, southwestern China, Myanmar, and Laos, from northwestern Peninsular Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand.

    Sunda Pig-Tailed Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca nemestrina
    The pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina), also called the Sundaland pig-tailed macaque and Sunda pig-tailed macaque is a medium-sized macaque native to southern Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Pig-tailed macaques also have long legs and hairless snouts.

    Tibetan Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca thibetana
    The Tibetan macaque (Macaca thibetana), also called the Chinese stump-tailed macaque is a macaque native to eastern Tibet, eastern Guangdong, and northern Shaanxi in China. Tibetan macaques are the largest of the macaques and have a strong, muscular build with dense fur that ranges in color from gray to brown.

    Tonkean Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca tonkeana
    Tonkean macaques also known as Tonkean black macaques, are endemic to the central part of the island of Sulawesi and the neighboring Togian Islands in Indonesia. Tonkea macaques are pretty intelligent and creative.

    Toque Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca sinica
    The toque macaque (Macaca sinica) is a red-brown Old World monkey endemic to Sri Lanka, known as the rilewa or rilawa. Its common name refers to the strand of hair on its head that resembles a brimless hat.

    White-Cheeked Macaque

    Species Name: Macaca leucogenys
    The white-cheeked macaque (Macaca leucogenys) is found only in Medog County in southeastern Tibet and the Arunachal Pradesh state of India. The species was first discovered and described by Chinese primatologists Peng-Fei Fan, Cheng Li, and Chao Zhao in the American Journal of Primatology in 2015.

    Extinct Macaques

    Although no English names were given to these macaques, they are extinct now.

    • Macaca anderssoni
    • Macaca jiangchuanensis
    • Macaca libyca
    • Macaca majori Schaub
    • Macaca majori Azzaroli
    • Macaca florentina

    Macaques By Taxonomists

    The macaques are sorted by year of discovery/classification by various taxonomists starting with the oldest macaque.

    Scientific Name Common Name Classification Year Taxonomist(s) Profession
    Macaca sylvanus Barbary Macaque 1758 Carl Linnaeus Swedish taxonomist
    Macaca silenus Lion-tailed Macaque 1758 Carl Linnaeus Swedish taxonomist
    Macaca nemestrina Sunda Pigtail macaque 1766 Carl Linnaeus Swedish taxonomist
    Macaca sinica Toque Macaque 1771 Carl Linnaeus Swedish taxonomist
    Macaca mulatta Rhesus Macaque 1780 Eberhard August Wilhelm von Zimmermann German Zoologist
    Macaca radiata Bonnet Macaque 1812 Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire French Naturalist
    Macaca fascicularis Crab-eating Macaque 1821 Stamford Raffles English Statesman
    Macaca nigra Celebes Crested Macaque 1822 Anselme Gaëtan Desmarest French Zoologist
    Macaca maura Moor Macaque (Short-tailed) 1825 Heinrich Rudolf Schinz Swiss Naturalist
    Macaca arctoides Stump-tailed Macaque 1831 Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire French Zoologist
    Macaca assamensis Assam Macaque 1840 John McClelland British physician
    Macaca ochreata Booted Macaque 1841 William Ogilby Irish Zoologist
    Macaca nigrescens Gorontalo Macaque 1849 Coenraad Jacob Temminck Dutch Zoologist
    Macaca cyclopis Formosan Rock Macaque 1863 Robert Swinhoe English Naturalist
    Macaca leonina Northern Pig-tailed macaque 1863 Edward Blyth English Zoologist
    Macaca thibetana Milne-Edwards’s Macaque 1870 Alphonse Milne-Edwards French Ornithologist
    Macaca fuscata Japanese Macaque 1875 Edward Blyth English Zoologist
    Macaca tonkeana Tonkean Macaque 1899 Christian Erich Hermann von Meyer German Paleontologist
    Macaca hecki Heck’s Macaque 1901 Paul Matschie German Zoologist
    Macaca pagensis Pagai Island Macaque 1903 Gerrit Smith Miller Jr. American Zoologist
    Macaca siberu Siberut Macaque 1995 Agustín FuentesAnd Olson American Primatologists
    Macaca munzala Arunachal Macaque 2005 Sinha, A.; Datta, A.; Madhusudan, M. D. & Mishra Indian Primatologists
    Macaca leucogenys White-cheeked Macaque 2015 Li, Zhao, Fan Chinese Primatologists

    Cite This Page

    APA7MLA8Chicago (2023, October 01). Macaques. Bio Explorer. "Macaques" Bio Explorer, 01 October 2023, "Macaques" Bio Explorer, October 01 2023.
    Key References
    • [1]“MACAQUE | Meaning & Definition for UK English |”. Accessed November 12, 2022. Link.
    • [2]“Macaque Models of Human Infectious Disease – PMC”. Accessed November 12, 2022. Link.
    • [3]“B-virus from pet macaque monkeys: an emerging threat in the United States? – PMC”. Accessed November 12, 2022. Link.


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