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Northern Plains Gray Langur File

Semnopithecus entellus

Credit: Public Domain

Weight

10.5-20kg

(23-44lbs)

Length

41-78cm

(16-31in)

Lifespan

Wild 18 years

Captive 30 years

Diet

Herbivore

Fruits, Leaves, Flowers

Conservation Status

IUCN

Least Concern

The northern plains gray langur is native to India with an introduced population having formed in Bangladesh from a single pair.

They are herbivores which spend their day foraging as a group for fruits, leaves and flowers. Unlike other primates much of their time is spent on the ground before they return to the trees at night to feed.

Females give birth to a single young. Other females in the group will assist them.

These primates are threatened across their range by habitat loss, fires and hunting for food.

Read on to learn more about these magnificent mammals.

Appearance

What does the northern plains gray langur look like?

The face of the northern plains gray langur is black with little fur present on it. The brow ridge is prominent. Across the rest of the body they have gray brown or buff colored fur. Their arms and legs are darker in color turning to black on the hands and feet. The head and chest has orange or yellow-white fur. Around the face is a ring of longer hairs.

There is some slight variations in their color across their range.

At the end of the body is a long tail which adds between 69 and 102cm (27 and 40in) to their body length making it longer than the body. It ends with a white tip.

An average northern plains gray langur will measure 41-78cm (16-31in) long with a weight between 10.5 and 20kg (23 and 44lbs).

Diet

What does the northern plains gray langur eat?


These animals are herbivores. They consume leaves, fruits and flowers. To supplement their diet they will lick salt and eat soil which is rich in minerals.

The stomach of this species is compartmentalized. This helps to break down the leaves on which they feed.

In some areas they will feed on leftovers which they scavenge from humans.

Northern Plains Gray Langur (Semnopithecus entellus)

Credit: Public Domain

Range

Where can you find the northern plains gray langur?

The northern plains gray langur is found in India.

An introduced populations has been established in Bangladesh. This came from a single pair introduced by Hindu pilgrims.

Habitat

What kind of environment does the northern plains gray langur live in?

These animals are found in areas of forest, wooded areas, and scrublands.

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Reproduction

How does the northern plains gray langur produce its young?

Males and females will mate with multiple partners during the breeding season.

A female will give birth to a single young though twins are possible on rare occasions. The young are born after a 200 to 212 day gestation period.

Initially the young will be cared for by their mother with other females assisting her within the first few weeks of life.

At birth the young have darker fur than the adults which will lighten as they grow. Their skin begins pale but darkens as they grow.

Young start to eat their own food at six weeks old but won't begin weaning until 8 months old. They don't achieve independence till 2 years old.


Females mature first between 3 and 4 years old compared to males at 6 to 7 years old. Females remain in their birth group for life but males will be drive out of the group at sexual maturity.


When a new male takes over a group he will kill any young which are present within it.

Behavior

What does the northern plains gray langur do with its day?

These animals are considered arboreal and spend much of their time in the trees. Despite this they will be seen on the ground in areas with few trees.

Northern plains gray langurs are active during the day. Unlike other primates they spend much of their time on the ground. At night they take to the trees to sleep. Sleeping position is determined by the individual's place in the hierarchy with more dominant individuals higher in the trees where it is safer.

They are a social species. If food is in abundant groups can grow to include multiple males and several females. In areas where food is scarce they tend to have only a single adult male which will head up the group.

Males which can not join a group will move around together.

Within the group their is a dominance hierarchy within both genders.

A range of vocalizations are produced by this species including a grunt, bark or whoop. These can carry over long distances.

Northern Plains Gray Langur (Semnopithecus entellus)

Credit: Jakub Hałun, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Predators and Threats

What is impacting the survival of the northern plains gray langur?

Natural predators of this species include leopards, dholes, tigers, wolves and jackals.

They have been subject to increasing predation due to deforestation which has increased access to them.

Populations of the northern plains gray langur are decreasing. An estimate of their population has not been established.

These animals are threatened by habitat loss and fires. They may also be hunted for food particularly around recently settled areas.

In some areas they are considered sacred and given food at temple sites.

Quick facts

They may also be known as the hanuman langur or sacred langur.

Their alternate name of hanuman langur is taken from the monkey-god in the Hindu religion.

This species was first described for western science in 1797.

These animals are one of eight gray langur species. Previously these individuals were grouped together under a single species using the scientific name, Semnopithecus entellus.

Northern Plains Gray Langur (Semnopithecus entellus)

Credit: Jakub Hałun, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

References

Jackson, T. and Chinery, M., 2012. The illustrated encyclopedia of animals of the world. London: Southwater.

Burnie, D., 2011. Animal. 3rd ed. London: DK 2021. 

Semnopithecus entellus. [online] Available at: <https://www.mindat.org/taxon-2436564.html> [Accessed 19 December 2021].

New England Primate Conservancy. 2021. Northern Plains Gray Langur. [online] Available at: <https://www.neprimateconservancy.org/northern-plains-gray-langur.html> [Accessed 19 December 2021].

Wisconsin National Primate Research Center. 2021. Gray langur. [online] Available at: <https://primate.wisc.edu/primate-info-net/pin-factsheets/pin-factsheet-gray-langur/> [Accessed 19 December 2021].

GUWS Medical. 2021. Northern plains gray langur – Mammals – GUWS Medical. [online] Available at: <https://www.guwsmedical.info/mammals-3/northern-plains-gray-langur.html> [Accessed 19 December 2021].

Semke, R. 2011. "Semnopithecus entellus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed December 18, 2021 at https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Semnopithecus_entellus/

Kumara, H.N., Kumar, A. & Singh, M. 2020. Semnopithecus entellusThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T39832A17942050. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T39832A17942050.en. Accessed on 19 December 2021.

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