Sub-adult male with orange-brown fur.
Sub-adult male with strongly orange-brown fur, and
A dark brown juvenile breast-feeding.
All photos from West Bengal, northern India.
The highly adaptable Rhesus Macaque occurs in lowland forested areas, montane forests (reportedly up to
2500 metres elevation), disturbed secondary habitats, agricultural areas and
rural settlements. Large troupes of over
20-30 individuals may be encountered at roadsides,
where they have become habituated to begging for food from humans. The
maximum troupe size is around 50.
Their body fur is typically pale to medium brown or orange-brown, and their
underparts cream. Their hindquarters are often reddish. The tail is
relatively short, being around half the head-body length : this feature
distinguishes the Rhesus Macaque from the Long-tailed
Macaque whose tail is around 80% of head-body length.
The fur on the crown is swept neatly backwards, and the bare skin on the
face is pinkish, becoming reddish in some specimens (particularly females in
The species has been much exploited by man : it is commonly used as a
laboratory primate, and has given its name to the Rhesus Factor in blood
The species is wide-ranging occurring in northern parts of Pakistan, India
and Bangladesh, as well as Nepal and southern parts of China. Within
Southeast Asia it is confined to northerly parts of the mainland
including Burma, Thailand and northern parts of Indochina.
Hybridization has been documented where the southern part of its range meets
the northern part of the range of the Long-tailed Macaque, for example in
Order : PRIMATES
Family : Cercopithecidae
Species : Macaca mulatta
Head-body length : up to 59 cm
Tail length : up to 28 cm
Weight : up to 6 kg
References : M3, M5