Langurs are a kind of monkey.

There are different kinds of langur.

They eat leaves, fruit and flowers.

They are small monkeys.

They have long tails that can hold on to branches.

What are Langurs?
Langurs are leaf-eating monkeys. There are different kinds of langurs, found in different countries in Asia. They are small agile monkeys with long prehensile tails, which means the tails can curl around branches and hold on. Some species, or kinds, of langur are very rare.

Appearance and Habits
All langurs have excellent sight and hearing. They have thumbs like those of humans, long legs, hands and feet. Their fur is longish, usually grey, black or brown, and they usually have black faces. They are active in the daytime and rarely come down from the trees. They usually live in the middle and upper canopies of tall trees in forests of India and parts of Asia. They generally feed in the mornings and late afternoons, and rarely leave the trees. Like all monkeys, members of a group groom each other. Grooming is an important part of all monkey life, and helps keep the relationships between them close.

The diet of langurs is mostly leaves, but they also eat fruit and flowers in season. This food is difficult to digest and does not have a high nutrition value, so langurs are not as active as some other kinds of monkey. Langurs have large stomachs that have several sections. This is because plant cells are surrounded by tough material called cellulose, which is very difficult to digest without special bacteria, which is found in the first section of the langur's stomach.

There are different ways that langurs organise their groups, which are called troops. Most kinds of langur live in groups of one adult male and several females and young. Some kinds of langurs have several males in a troop, organised into an order of importance from highest to lowest, living with females and young. There are also all male groups, generally made up of males that can't take over a one-male group or have been pushed out of it.

Langur troops make loud calls to let other troops know where they are. Troops generally travel slowly through the treetops, feeding as they go. Langurs help the forests in which they live by spreading seeds from one part to another as they travel. If threatened with danger, the dominant, or top, male will confront the danger while the rest of the troop escape.

Life cycle
Females usually give birth every 2 years, about 7 months after mating with a male. Twins are rare. Male young leave the group before they are fully adult, and travel to find a group they can join.

Langurs live for about 20 years.

The Common Langur, also called Grey Langur or Hanuman Langur

The Common Langurs are very common, found in the jungles of northern, western and central India. In fact, there are so many of this kind of langur that in some parts of India they have become a nuisance to humans.

Common Langurs are about 75cm long, and their tails are about 100 cm long. They weigh between 9 and 15 kg.

At night each troop returns to a group of trees in its territory to sleep. They sleep in the outer branches to escape predators. They eat a variety of fruits, flowers, buds, shoots, leaves, and sap, but they also eat termites and other insects.

Females give birth in the cooler time of the year.Other females in the troop help look after the young.

Golden Langurs
The rare Golden Langurs are found in Bhutan and part of India, and were only discovered in the 1920s. The Golden Langur lives in groups of about nine. They eat mostly mature leaves, but according to the season, also eat young leaves and fruit. Golden Langurs rarely leave the trees. Their water comes from dew or rain on leaves.

Douc Langurs
Douc Langurs are found in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. They used to be found in China also. They are about 70 cm long, not including the tail. There are three species, or kinds, of Douc Langurs: the Red-shanked Douc Langur and the Black-shanked Douc Langur. However, in 1998 a small population of Douc Langurs that were different from either of these were found in the southeastern part of Vietnam's Central Highlands. Scientists now believe that they are a third kind of Douc Langur, and have named them Grey-shanked Douc Langur. They are critically endangered because they are found only in Vietnam.

Douc Langurs are found in tropical rain forest and monsoon forests. Troops generally consist of up to 15, with several adult males and about twice as many females.

All three kinds of Douc Langur are endangered. Reasons include being hunted for food, loss of forest habitat and the environmental disruption during the Vietnam War, when there was a great deal of bombing and also chemicals sprayed by air.

Mentawai Langur
Mentawai Langurs are found only on the Mentawai Islands of Indonesia. They weigh about 6 - 7 kg and are found in mangrove forest and rainforests. Generally a troop consists of 3-4, just one adult pair and their young. This is very unusual in monkeys, and it appears that the Mentawai Langurs pair for life.

They are endangered, and the population is declining because of logging and being hunted for food.

Silvered-Leaf Langur

This kind of Lanur is found in Sumatra, Indonesia, in forest and mangrove areas. Their fur is blackish grey with silvery tips.

Javan Langurs
Javan Langurs come from Java in Indonesia. Some are black and some are brown. Young Javan Langurs have apricot coloured fur when they are born, and darken to their adult colour after about 4-5 months.

Much of their habitat has been destroyed, but Javan Langurs have adapted to this by moving into commercial plantations of teak trees and feeding on teak leaves.

Read about Red-shanked Douc Langurs

Read about Common Langurs

Read about Golden Langurs

Read about the different kinds of langur, where they are found and their conservation status.

If you use any part of this, acknowledge it in your bibliography like this:
Langurs (2003). [Online], Available:

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Updated December 2006