Pigtailed Macaque (Macaca nemestrina)

This species has cheek pouches to carry food in while it forages. The body mass for adult male pigtailed macaques range from 10 to 14 kilograms, and for the females it ranges from 5 to 11 kilograms. This species has a relatively short tail compared to other macaques. The face is lacking in hair.

The pigtailed macaque is found in the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. This species lives in both primary and secondary growth forests and these are either highland or lowland forests.
Pig-tailed Macaque

The pigtailed macaque is a frugivorous species, but will also eat leaves, buds, shoots, insects, and will raid crops for fruits and grain. Group sizes for this species range from 5 to 22 individuals. The pigtailed macaque is a diurnal species. This is both an arboreal and terrestrial species, although it spends most of the time on the ground (Fleagle, 1988). The group splits up to forage during the day.

The pigtailed macaque is a quadrupedal species (Fleagle, 1988).

The pigtailed macaque has a multimale-multifemale social system. Females remain in their natal group with the onset of maturity, but males will disperse shortly before adolescence. There is a hierarchical system amongst group members based upon the matriline.



fear grimace: The lips are retracted so that the teeth are shown; the teeth are clenched together (Estes, 1991). This display functions as an appeasement signal to reduce aggression in aggressive encounters (Estes, 1991).

staring with open mouth: This is the stare accompanied by the mouth being open but the teeth are covered (Estes, 1991). This is a threat expression (Estes, 1991).

pout-face: The lips are pushed forward, and this display is used when approaching to attack or just before copulation.


The pigtailed macaque gives birth to a single offspring. During estrus the sexual skin swells and becomes red. The males have a courtship approach, where they have the pout-face and the ears are retracted back.

presenting: This behavior is preformed by the female to elicit copulation from the male; this pattern tells the male that she is ready for copulation (Estes, 1991).

Burton, F. 1995. The Multimedia Guide to the Non-human Primates. Prentice-Hall Canada Inc.

Estes, R.D. 1991. The Behavior Guide to African Mammals. University of California Press.

Fleagle, J. G. 1988. Primate Adaptation and Evolution. Academic Press.

Last Updated: October 9, 2003.
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