International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 199–216 | Cite as

The diet of the capped langur (Presbytis pileata) in a moist deciduous forest in Bangladesh

  • Craig B. Stanford


Capped langurs (Presbytis pileata) in Madhupur National Park in north-central Bangladesh have an annual diet that is comprised largely of mature leaves (42% of 20,460 total feeding records). Among colobine monkeys, only some populations of red colobus (Procolobus badius) have a diet richer in mature leaves. New leaves (11%) and fruit (24%) are the other annually important dietary items. Seasonal breakdown of this diet, however, revealed that during the monsoon months of May through September theP. pileata diet is approximately 50% fruit, including pulpy ripe fruit. This is also the period of maximum fruit availability. Data on diet and food availability indicate that while capped langurs subsist on mature leaves during the dry season (80% of diet from November to March), they select fruit and new leaves and switch to these foods whenever they are available. These data support the hypothesis that the colobine feeding strategy is adapted to cope with seasonal food scarcity.

Key Words

capped langur diet Presbytis pileata frugivory 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altmann, J. (1974). Observational study of behavior; sampling methods.Behaviour 69: 227–267.Google Scholar
  2. Bauchop, T. (1978). Digestion of leaves in vertebrate arboreal folivores. In Montgomery, G. G. (ed.),The Ecology of Arboreal Folivores, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, pp. 193–204.Google Scholar
  3. Bole, P. V., and Vaghani, Y. (1986).Field Guide to the Common Trees of India, Oxford University Press, Delhi.Google Scholar
  4. Curtin, R. A. (1975).The Sociecology of the Common Langur. Presbytis entellus, in the Nepal Himalaya, Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  5. Davies, A. G. (1984).An Ecological Study of the Red Leaf Monkey (Presbytis rubicunda) in the Dipterocarp Forest of Northern Borneo, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cambridge, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  6. Davies, A. G., Bennett, E. L., and Waterman, P. G. (1988). Food selection by two south-east Asian colobine monkeys (Presbytis rubicunda andPresbytis melalophos) in relation to plant chemistry.Biol. J. Linn. Soc., 34: 33–56.Google Scholar
  7. Gautier-Hion, A. (1980). Seasonal variation of diet related to species and sex in a community ofCercopithecus monkeys.J. Anim. Ecol. 49: 237–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gautier-Hion, A. (1983). Leaf consumption by monkeys in western and eastern Africa: A comparison.Afr. J. Ecol. 21: 107–113.Google Scholar
  9. Gittins, S. P., and Akonda, A. W. (1982). What survives in Bangladesh?Oryz 16: 275–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Green, K. (1978). Primates of Bangladesh: A preliminary survey of population and habitat.Biol. Conserv. 13: 141–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gurmaya, K. J. (1986). Ecology and behavior ofPresbytis thomasi in North Sumatra.Primates 27: 151–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Harrison, M. J. S. (1986). Feeding ecology of the black colobus, Colobus satanas, in Gabon. In Else, J. G., and Lee, P. C. (eds.),Primate Ecology and Conservation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 31–37.Google Scholar
  13. Hladik, C. M. (1977). A comparative study of the feeding strategies of two sympatric species of leaf-monkey:Presbytis senex andPresbytis entellus. In Clutton-Brock, T. H. (ed.),Primate Ecology, Academic Press, London, pp. 324–353.Google Scholar
  14. Hladik, C. M. (1978). Adaptive strategies of primates in relation to leaf-eating. In Montgomery, G. G. (ed.),The Ecology of Arboreal Folivores, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, pp. 373–395.Google Scholar
  15. Islam, M. A., and Hussein, K. Z. (1982). A preliminary study on the ecology of the capped langur.Folia Primatol 39: 145–159.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. McKey, D. B., and Waterman, P. G. (1982). Ranging behaviour of a group of black colobus (Colobus satanas) in the Douala-Edea Reserve, Cameroon.Folia Primatol. 39: 264–304.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Milton, K. (1979). Factors influencing leaf choice by howler monkeys: A test of some hypotheses of food selection by generalist herbivores.Am. Nat. 114: 362–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Milton, K. (1980).The Foraging Strategy of Howler Monkeys, Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Mueller-Dombois, D., and Ellenberg, H. (1974).Aims and Methods of Vegetation Ecology, Wiley and Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  20. Napier, J. R., and Napier, P. H. (1967).A Handbook of Living Primates, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  21. Newton, P. N. (1985). The behavioural ecology of forest Hanuman langurs.Tigerpaper 12: 3–7.Google Scholar
  22. Oates, J. F. (1977). The guereza and its food. In Clutton-Brock, T. H. (ed.),Primate Ecology, Academic Press, London, pp. 276–321.Google Scholar
  23. Oates, J. F. (1988). The diet of the olive colobus monkey,Procolobus verus, in Sierra Leone.Int. J. Primatol. 9: 457–478.Google Scholar
  24. Oates, J. F., Waterman, P. G., and Choo, G. M. (1980). Food selection by the south Indian leaf-monkey,Presbytis johnii, in relation to leaf chemistry.Oecologia 45: 45–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Oates, J. F., Whitesides, G. H., Davies, A. G., Waterman, P. G., Green, S. M., DaSilva, G. L., and Mole, S. (1990). Determinants of variation in tropical forest primate biomass: New evidence from West Africa.Ecology 71: 328–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pocock, R. I. (1928). The langurs, or leaf-monkeys, of British India.J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 32: 660–677.Google Scholar
  27. Puri, G. S. (1960).Indian Forest Ecology, Vol. I and II. New Delhi, Oxford Books.Google Scholar
  28. Stanford, C. B. (1991a). Social dynamics of intergroup encounters in the capped langur (Presbytis pileata) in Bangladesh.Am. J. Primatol. (in press).Google Scholar
  29. Stanford, C. B. (1991b). The capped langur in Bangladesh: Behavioral ecology and reproductive tactics,Contributions to Primatology, Karger, Basel (in press).Google Scholar
  30. Struhsaker, T. T. (1975)The Red Colobus Monkey, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  31. Sugiyama, Y. (1976). Characteristics of the ecology of the Himalayan langurs.J. Hum. Evol. 5: 249–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Waterman, P. G. (1984). Food acquisition and processing by primates as a function of plant chemistry. In Chivers, D. J., Wood, B. A., and Bilsborough, A. (eds.),Food Acquisition and Processing by Primates, Plenum Press, New York, pp. 177–211.Google Scholar
  33. Waterman, P. G., and Choo, G. M. (1981). The effects of digestibility reducing compounds in leaves on food selection by some Colobinae.Malaysian Appl. Biol. 10: 147–162.Google Scholar
  34. Waterman, P. G., Ross, J. A. M., Bennett, E. L., and Davies, A. G. (1988). A comparison of the floristics and leaf chemistry of the tree flora in two Malaysian rain forests and the influence of leaf chemistry on populations of colobine monkeys in the Old World.Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 34: 1–32.Google Scholar
  35. Yeager, C. P. (1989). Feeding ecology of the proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus).Int. J. Primatol. 10: 497–530.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig B. Stanford
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeley

Personalised recommendations