Two subspecies of Javan langurs are described: western Javan langur (or western Javan ebony langur (Trachypithecus auratus mauritius) and eastern Javan langurs (or spangled ebony langurs, Trachypithecus auratus auratus). However, several genetic studies dispute the validity of subspecies. Both subspecies have glossy black coats with brown on the legs and belly. Sometimes, individual T. auratus auratus have orange coats. Orange color morphs are found in a restricted portion of the distribution of eastern Javan langurs. Javan langur infants are born with orange coats and the coats get darker as they age. Female coloration is slightly different, they have yellow pubic patches. Javan langur mass is approximately 7 kg. Head and body length is from 44 to 65 cm and tail length is 61 to 87 cm. They move quadrupedally and have enlarged salivary glands and a dental formula of 2:1:2:3. Javan langurs also have sacculated stomachs that assist in breaking down plant materials. (Kool, 1993; Nijman, 2000; Primate Info Net, 2007; Richardson, 2005)
Javan langurs have 1 to 2 males in each group, which has a large effect on the group's mating behavior. There is virtually no within-group competition among males, ensuring that they are successful in mating. Males in the group father all offspring. Females in social groups cooperate to care for all young in the group. (Bristol Zoo Gardens, 2009; Nijman, 2000; Primate Info Net, 2007)
Female Javan langurs typically begin to breed around 3 to 4 years of age, and give birth once a year, one offspring at a time. Breeding and births can occur throughout the year. The infants develop quickly and are often independent within their first year of life. Mothers in the group all care for each others' young, otherwise known as "allomothering." Other aspects of reproduction are not reported in the literature. (Bristol Zoo Gardens, 2009; Primate Info Net, 2007; Richardson, 2005)
Females are the primary caregivers for the infants and are known to care for infants from other females within the group. The vibrant color of young Javan langurs may make it easier for mothers to keep track of their offspring, and to ensure that they are protected and cared for. (Primate Info Net, 2007; Bristol Zoo Gardens, 2009; Richardson, 2005)
Javan langurs are arboreal and diurnal, spending the majority of their time in trees and active during the day. Researchers found that when offered food from tourists, these langurs do not accept it. Individuals will often take turns and feed while others in the group are resting or traveling. They live in groups of approximately 7 members with 1 to 2 males and 5 to 6 females. However, groups can exist with up to 21 members, still with only 1 to 2 males. Group size varies depending on climate conditions. Groups inhabiting habitats with a longer dry season tend to be larger than other groups. Females make up the majority of the group because of male competition and the polygamous mating system. Males disperse from their natal group and may travel alone, or can band together with other bachelor males. The dominant male keeps a close relationship with all females within the group. Females care for and protect their young, as well as the offspring of their fellow female group members. Females are aggressive toward females from other groups. (Kool, 1991; Nijman and Supriatna, 2008; Nijman, 2000; Primate Info Net, 2007; Richardson, 2005)
Home range is estimated to be 20 to 30 ha. This home range may be larger in Java than on other Indonesian islands. (Nijman and Supriatna, 2008)has a population density of 23 individuals/km in the Dieng Mountains of Java.
Javan langurs communicate acoustically. They use alarm calls that sound like "ghek-ghok-ghek-ghok." They also communicate through visual cues and touch. Infants are brightly colored and females will look after and protect infants of other females. It has been hypothesized that females behave in this manner because the bright orange color of the infants signals that they need to be cared for. Allogrooming is an important way to cement social bonds. Aggression is communicated with physical interactions, vocalizations, and visual cues, all of which establish social rank. Research on chemical communication by (Primate Info Net, 2007; Richardson, 2005)has been lacking.
Javan langurs eat mostly leaves and flowers. Their enlarged salivary glands and sacculated stomachs are well adapted for this plant diet. They also eat fruit, ripe and unripe, and insect larvae. The diet consists of 15 to 27% unripe fruit and 10 to 12% ripe fruit. They may eat fruits mainly to get at the seeds. Javan langurs prefer leaves rich in protein content and low in fiber. Different groups will feed at the same food source without significant aggression. Adult males do not proportionally feed as often as other group members, females and the young. (Kool, 1993; Primate Info Net, 2007; Richardson, 2005)
The only known predators of Javan langurs are humans. Humans illegally hunt them for food and the pet trade. Anti-predator adaptations of Panthera tigris sondaica) and Javan leopards (Panthera pardus melas). (Primate Info Net, 2007; Primate Info Net, 2007; Richardson, 2005)include a shrill alarm call when a human is sighted. Likely natural predators include the now extinct, Javan tiger (
Javan langurs impact forest vegetation through their diet, they eat leaves and may help to disperse seeds through their frugivory. No studies have been conducted on the parasites that infect (Bristol Zoo Gardens, 2009; Kool, 1993; Nijman and Supriatna, 2008).
Javan langurs are important members of native ecosystems and may form the basis of ecotourism activities. Javan langurs are sometimes hunted for food or captured for trade, but these are illegal activities. (Primate Info Net, 2007; Nijman and Supriatna, 2008; Primate Info Net, 2007)
There are no studies that document decreased health of people or agricultural plants because of (Nijman and Supriatna, 2008).
Javan langurs are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Populations are decreasing due to human activities, such as habitat loss resulting from agricultural expansion, hunting, and the illegal pet trade. Laws protecting (Nijman and Supriatna, 2008; Richardson, 2005)in Indonesia were passed in 1999. Javan langurs are found in 3 Indonesian national parks: Gunung Halimun, Pangandaran, and Ujung Kulon.
William Cannon (author), James Madison University, Abby Vos (author), James Madison University, Suzanne Baker (editor, instructor), James Madison University, Tanya Dewey (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
uses sound to communicate
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
the nearshore aquatic habitats near a coast, or shoreline.
helpers provide assistance in raising young that are not their own
ranking system or pecking order among members of a long-term social group, where dominance status affects access to resources or mates
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
parental care is carried out by females
an animal that mainly eats leaves.
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
an animal that mainly eats fruit
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
animals that live only on an island or set of islands.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.
having more than one female as a mate at one time
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
a wetland area that may be permanently or intermittently covered in water, often dominated by woody vegetation.
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
breeding takes place throughout the year
young are relatively well-developed when born
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Kool, K. 1991. Behavioural ecology of the silver leaf monkey, Trachypithecus auratus sondaicus, in the Pangandaran Nature Reserve, West Java, Indonesia. Primate Society of Great Britain, 44: 19-20.
Kool, K. 1993. The diet and feeding behavior of the silver leaf monkey (Trachypithecus auratus sondaicus) in Indonesia.. International Journal of Primatology, 14 (5): 667-700.
Nijman, V., . Supriatna. 2008. "Trachypithecus auratus" (On-line). 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Accessed April 10, 2009 at http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22034.
Nijman, V. 2000. Geographic distribution of ebony leaf monkey Trachypithecus auratus (E. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1812) (Mammalia: Primates: Cercopithecidae). Contributions to Zoology, 69 (3): 157-177.
Primate Info Net, 2007. "Javan Langur (Trachypithecus auratus)" (On-line). Primate Fact Sheets. Accessed April 10, 2009 at http://www.theprimata.com/trachypithecus_auratus.html.
ProFauna Indonesia, 2008. "Javan Langur Conservation (JLC)" (On-line). ProFauna Indonesia. Accessed April 12, 2009 at http://www.profauna.org/content/en/javan_langur_conservation.html#information.
Richardson, M. 2005. "Javan langur (Trachypithecus auratus)" (On-line). Arkive: Images of Life on Earth. Accessed April 10, 2009 at http://www.arkive.org/javan-langur/trachypithecus-auratus/info.html.