White-headed Langur
Image: Wikimedia
Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Primates Cercopithecidae Trachypithecus Trachypithecus leucocephalus
White-headed Langur
IUCN Status: Critically-Endangered
  • Common Name: White-headed Langur
  • Taxonomy Classification Year: 1955
  • Monkey Size: 52.7 to 68.9 cm (20.75 to 27.13 in)
  • Skin Color(s): Black and white
  • Habitat: Forest, rainforest
  • Diet: Herbivorous
  • Native Countries: China

White-headed Langur Distribution

White-Headed Langur Characteristics

White-headed Langur

The white-headed langur[1] (Trachypithecus leucocephalus) is an endangered species of langur native to Guangxi, China. It was once thought to be a subspecies of the Cat Ba Langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus), now considered native to Vietnam.

  • As the common name suggests, a tuft of white fur covers this primate’s head. The hair is lifted straight from the parting for a crazy hairstyle reminiscent of “Is that hair gel? ” scene from the romantic comedy.
  • There’s Something About Mary starring Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz. (Google it!) Other strands of white hair stuck out wildly from the sides of the head, framing a hairless, dark-hued face characterized by dark eyes, a modest nose, and thin lips.
  • The dark ears are wrinkled on either side of the head. White goatee hairs blend into a white ruff, stopped by a thick layer of fur that covers the monkey’s entire body, including its long limbs, in a blackish hue. The fur is long and thick.
  • Black fur covers half to three-quarters of the total length of its long tail before giving way to white hairs.
  • The hands are black, and the feet are primarily black with gray accents. Mother Nature’s color palette allows these rare primates to blend into their limestone and karst habitat.
  • At birth, white-headed langurs appear to be an entirely different species of monkeys. Mother Nature has covered these babies in a glossy, fluffy, golden-orange fur layer.
  • Some wildlife biologists have speculated that this colorful coat helps mothers better track and care for their babies.
  • By about a year of age, babies’ coats resemble those of adults, initially turning gray before turning black. The ultimate furry punctuation mark in adulthood is the crazy white hairdo.

White-Headed Langur Facts

  • These leaf-eating primates are active during the day (making them diurnal) and most active at dawn and dusk (making them crepuscular).
  • White-headed langurs live in groups (called “troops“) of 9-12 individuals. Group size varies with habitat quality.
  • At the end of each day, the monkeys leave as a group. Although they choose a large tree as a roost for the night, they prefer crevices or caves.
  • White-headed langurs have large salivary glands that break down plant cellulose, lubricate food passage, and moisten the digestive system.
  • The characteristic of Old-World Monkeys is that the buttocks of white-headed langurs have thick, calloused pads called “ischial calluses” that provide the monkeys with comfort when seated.

Cite This Page

BioExplorer.net. (2024, April 14). White-headed Langur. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/white-headed-langur/.
BioExplorer.net. "White-headed Langur" Bio Explorer, 14 April 2024, https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/white-headed-langur/.
BioExplorer.net. "White-headed Langur" Bio Explorer, April 14 2024. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/white-headed-langur/.
Key References
  • [1]“How does the white-headed langur (Trachypithecus leucocephalus) adapt locomotor behavior to its unique limestone hill habitat? – PubMed”. Accessed November 01, 2022. Link.


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