These gentle, little fellows are endemic on the Malay Peninsula and the nearby smaller islands like Penang Island or Langkawi Island. Their habitat is the tropical rainforest, and they spend most of their time in the upper parts of high trees. They are sometimes also called 'spectacled langures'.
Image by Asienreisender, Prachuap Khiri Khan, 2006, 2015
The dusky leaf monkey grows up to between 42cm and 61cm, while the tail measures between 50cm and 80cm. The tails are very important for them to keep balance. They are great climbers and can do big jumps from one tree to another. Females remain slightly smaller than males, but there is no other gender distinction. Males reach a weight of around 7.4kg while females reach 6.5kg in average. These monkeys can live up to 30 years.
Females can get pregnant all over the year. After a pregnancy of around 145 days there is given birth to one, sometimes two babies. The babies have an orange colour in the first time, which changes after six months. Laktation time is three to four months. The mother cares for the babies, the males don't. Usually a female get's a baby every two years. The dusky leaf monkeys live polygam.
The little langures are day-active animals and live in smaller groups between 5 to 20 individuals. The groups consist of some male, some female and their offspring. They don't have necessarily a harem habit with a leading pasha.
There is an alpha male, though, who patrols the territory they claim for their group. The territory can comprise 10 hectars or more and will be defended against other groups of dusky leaf monkeys.
The monkeys diet consists of fruits, seeds and slips. They don't eat meat. An adult dusky leaf monkey can eat up to two kilograms of food per day.
Social interaction happens by mutual fure care (picking out parasites etc).
The dusky leaf monkeys are still not an endangered species, classified as 'near threatened'. However, according to the rate of deforestation on the Malay Peninsula that can change pretty soon and drastic. A big threat for the nice animals is the increasing traffic, where it comes to lethal accidents when the monkeys cross one of the roads who cut their territories more and more.
The Monkey Tree
Dusky Leaf Monkeys | Spectacled Langures
On a mountain a bit south of Prachuap Khiri Khan lives a group of dusky leaf monkeys on a Thai airforce base. The nice animals are under protection there, guarded by military posts. People go there to feed the monkeys. Therefore they come down from the forested mountain and, since they are used to humans, come very close. One can reach them a banana or peanuts and they will take it gently out of one's hands.
There are also a few of the langures in a larger cage in Dusit Zoo, Bangkok, where the sketches are from. Another young fellow I once met in a resort in Trang Province. The resort owner, an influencial Thai/Chinese man, got the baby from whereever (inquiries didn't led to an understandable answer). Probably it was taken away from it's mother in a far too young age (I guess that the mother died and the baby was picked up). The young boy missed his mother and the society of other langures. He got sick and was brought to a veterinary in Trang. He came on a drip like in a hospital for getting nourishments after he stopped eating. However, it didn't help. The young animal died.
Images and photocomposition by Asienreisender, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015
On the outer walls of Dusit Zoo in Bangkok are many paintings, portraying the animals of Thailand. Image by Asienreisender, 2012