International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 497–513 | Cite as

Body Size and Proportions and Pelage Color of Free-Ranging Macaca mulatta from a Zone of Hybridization in Northeastern Thailand

  • Yuzuru Hamada
  • Nontakorn Urasopon
  • Islamul Hadi
  • Suchinda Malaivijitnond

Rhesus (Macaca mulatta) and long-tailed (M. fascicularis) macaques belong to the same species, and are parapatric within a zone that lies between 15° and 20° N on the Indochinese peninsula. Researchers have reported probable hybrids between the 2 species from that zone, but have not studied the extent of introgression. To test for phenotypic evidence of hybridization, we collected body mass, morphometrics (body size and proportions), and pelage color readings from free-ranging rhesus living close to the zonal boundary at Wat Tham Pa Mak Ho (WTPMH), Wang Saphun district, Loei province, northeastern Thailand (17°14′N, 101°47′E). Female WTPMH rhesus macaques (n =12) were 10–20% smaller, but with a greater relative tail length than the captive Chinese or Indian female rhesus. Female WTPMH were larger than the free-ranging long-tailed macaques, but with similar limb proportions and a shorter relative tail length. The WTPMH rhesus macaques also displayed the bipartite pelage color pattern typical of Macaca mulatta . The evidence suggests slight contribution of long-tailed macaques to the gene pool of the WTPMH population. Further sampling of other macaque populations within the zone and genetic analysis are essential to address better the question of hybridization. Determination of the distribution and range of biobehavioral variation of macaques within the zone is urgently needed, because their habitat is being rapidly destroyed by deforestation, and their demography and social structure are threatened by artificial disturbance.


introgression Macaca mulatta Macaca fascicularis morphometrics Thailand 



We thank Dilok Yanklin, Chalis Mungsuwa, and Anu Kulaboot for their help during the field study. We express sincere thanks to monks at the Wat Tham Pa Mak Ho who permitted our research and offered much help. We are much indebted to Laura Newell-Morris at the University of Washington for her valuable comments on and revision of the manuscript. This study was financially supported by the TRF/BIOTEC Special Program for Biodiversity Research and Training (grant R-245001) and the Thailand Research Fund (grant RSA/02/2545) from Thailand (to S. Malaivijitnond), and partly by 21st Century COE Program Formation of a Strategic Base for the Multidisciplinary Study of Biodiversity (to Y. Hamada) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Scientific Techniques, Japan. We dedicate this article to the memory of Prof. Osamu Takenaka, who led and mentored us in Asian Primatological Research for >30 yr.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuzuru Hamada
    • 1
  • Nontakorn Urasopon
    • 2
  • Islamul Hadi
    • 3
  • Suchinda Malaivijitnond
    • 2
  1. 1.Morphology SectionPrimate Research Institute, Kyoto UniversityInuyama, AichiJapan
  2. 2.Primate Research Unit, Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  3. 3.Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and MathematicsBogor Agricultural UniversityJalan Pajajaran BogorIndonesia

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