Long-tailed Macaque

(Macaca fascicularis)

Range and habitat
The long-tailed macaque lives in various habitats in Southeast Asia, typically in forests alongside rivers or by coastal areas. They are also often found in mangrove forests, swamps, deciduous and bamboo forests. 

There are ten long-tailed macaque subspecies, all slightly different from each other. The differences are mainly in height, tail length, colour and the markings on the face and chest. Their colours vary from grey and white to yellow and brown. 

Females are sexually mature when they reach about four years old; males reproduce when they are about five or six years old. A female can give birth to one young every one to two years. The gestation period is around six months. Young are dependant on their mother’s milk for more than a year. 

Did you know?
  • Females inherit the social status of their mother.
  • Length 31 - 63 cm, tail 31 - 71 cm
  • Weight males 5-7 kg, females 3-4 kg
  • Lifespan 20 to 30 years
  • Range Southeast Asia
  • Habitat In forests alongside rivers and the coast

When taking over a group, a male may kill the young he suspects not to be his own. In doing so he ensures the female becomes fertile again (a female that is feeding is not fertile). To give their young a better chance of survival, a female long-tailed macaque mates with several males per season so that the males are not sure to whom the young belong and are less likely to kill them.


Long-tailed macaque eat lots of fruit and other plant and animal material, such as insects. In some areas they specialise in finding crabs and other crustaceans.

Behaviour and way of life
Long-tailed macaque live together in large groups in mangrove forests or forests along rivers. There can be over one hundred monkeys in a group. Females stay with the same group for life, males join another group as soon as they are mature. The long-tailed macaque must watch out for predators such as tigers, eagles, crocodiles, snakes and other large reptiles. A long-tailed macaque spends most of its life up in the trees, but needs to be wary, especially when visiting watering holes. The long-tailed macaque is threatened by human activity; in some areas their meat is considered a delicacy.