Lar gibbon

Hylobates lar

TAXONOMY

Hylobates lar (Linnaeus, 1771), Malacca, Malaysia. Two subspecies in Thailand and southwest China (H. l. entelloides H. carpenteri, and possibly H. yunnensis); one in the Malay Peninsula (H. l. lar); one in north Sumatra (H. l. vestitus).

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Common gibbon, white-handed gibbon; French: Gibbon lar, gibbon a mains blanches; German: Weisshand-Gibbon; Spanish: Gibon de manos blancas.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Male size 17.1-23 in (44-59 cm), female 16.5-22.8 in (42-58 cm); male weight 11-16.8 lb (5-7.6 kg), female 9.7-15 lb (4.4-6.8 kg). White face ring, hands, and feet. Asexually dichromatic in Thailand (either very dark or very pale), otherwise polychromatic (dark brown to light buff); white face ring, often fainter in female.

DISTRIBUTION

East of Salween to Mekong Rivers in Thailand, and across into southwest China, south to Mudah River, West Malaysia; south of Perak and Kelantan Rivers in West Malaysia; north of Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia.

HABITAT

Tropical evergreen rainforest.

BEHAVIOR

Population density 2.9 groups/2.5 mi2 (km2); home range 101 ac (41 ha), 55% defended as territory 49.4 ac (20 ha); day range 0.9 mi (1.5 km). Male, simple or quiver hoots; female, longer climax to great call, eight notes, 21 seconds (Malaya), 18 seconds (Thailand), 14-17 seconds (Sumatra).

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Diet is mainly fruit, including figs, also flowers, leaves, and animal matter.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous. Single young produced every two to three years.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Lower Risk/Near Threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Elusive, respected, popular as pet in some areas. ♦

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