White-cheeked macaque

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White-cheeked macaque
Macaca leucogenys female.jpg
Adult female
Macaca leucogenys juvenile.jpg
Group of juveniles
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Macaca
M. leucogenys
Binomial name
Macaca leucogenys
Li, Zhao, Fan

The white-cheeked macaque (Macaca leucogenys) is a species of macaque found only in Mêdog County in southeastern Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India. [1] [2] The white-cheeked macaque lives in forest habitats, from tropical forests to primary and secondary evergreen broad-leaved forests and mixed broadleaf-conifer forests. [3] The species was first described by its discoverers, Chinese primatologists Cheng Li, Chao Zhao, and Peng-Fei Fan, in the American Journal of Primatology in 2015. [3] It is one of twenty-three extant species in the genus Macaca, and the most recent to be formally described to science. While the species' exact conservation status has not yet been determined, it is likely threatened by poaching, deforestation, and increased human development of its habitat, much like the other primates which inhabit the area. [3]



From Walong, Arunachal Pradesh, India. White-cheeked Macaque Walong Arunachal Pradesh India November 2019.jpg
From Walong, Arunachal Pradesh, India.

The white-cheeked macaque was discovered and described in 2015, making it one of the most recently discovered mammals and one of the most recently discovered primates. [4] While specimens of the creature had been observed and known for many years prior, they were believed to be members of the species Macaca assamensis, the Assam macaque. After footage captured on a series camera traps in Tibet revealed numerous physical differences between the Assam macaque and the animals caught on tape (including more prominent whiskers, thicker neck hair, and differences in the shape of the genitalia), primatologists in China declared them to be a new species. [5] [6] Their research, along with a series of photographs of the species, was published in the July 2015 issue of the American Journal of Primatology. [7]

In April 2016, a group of wildlife photographers and biologists spotted and photographed the white-cheeked macaque in Arunachal Pradesh, India. [2] [8] Prior to this sighting, the species was thought to exist only in Tibet.


Physiologically, the white-cheeked macaque is similar to the other members of the genus Macaca. In terms of outward appearance, it closely resembles the Assam macaque, which is one of the reasons the two were believed to be the same species until recently. The main differences between the two include the presence of white, elongated whiskers on the face of the white-cheeked macaque, which are absent from other species. The whiskers begin to grow as the creatures approach sexual maturity, and eventually cover the whole face, giving the animals a rounded facial appearance. [5] The white-cheeked macaque also grows dense hair along its neck, while not growing any hair along its short tail. Additionally, there is a distinct difference in the shapes of the genitalia of the two species; contrary to the arrow-shaped structure present in the Assam macaque, the white-cheeked macaque displays a more rounded structure. [9] This was one of the main characteristics that allowed scientists to realize they were dealing with a new species. [3] [10]

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Macaque Genus of Old World monkeys

The macaques constitute a genus (Macaca) of gregarious Old World monkeys of the subfamily Cercopithecinae. The 23 species of macaques inhabit ranges throughout Asia, North Africa, and Gibraltar. Macaques are principally frugivorous, although their diet also includes seeds, leaves, flowers, and tree bark. Some species, such as the crab-eating macaque, subsist on a diet of invertebrates and occasionally small vertebrates. On average, southern pig-tailed macaques in Malaysia eat about 70 large rats each per year. All macaque social groups are matriarchal, arranged around dominant females.

Crab-eating macaque Species of mammal

The crab-eating macaque, also known as the long-tailed macaque and referred to as the cynomolgus monkey in laboratories, is a cercopithecine primate native to Southeast Asia. A species of macaque, the crab-eating macaque has a long history alongside humans; it has been alternately seen as an agricultural pest, sacred animal in some temples, and more recently, the subject of medical experiments.

Holotype The example of an organism used to describe its species

A holotype is a single physical example of an organism, known to have been used when the species was formally described. It is either the single such physical example or one of several such, but explicitly designated as the holotype. Under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), a holotype is one of several kinds of name-bearing types. In the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) and ICZN, the definitions of types are similar in intent but not identical in terminology or underlying concept.

Old World monkey Family of mammals

Old World monkey is the common English name for a family of primates known taxonomically as the Cercopithecidae. Twenty-four genera and 138 species are recognized, making it the largest primate family. Old World monkey genera include baboons, macaques, and mabahlls. Common names for other Old World monkeys include the talapoin, guenon, colobus, douc, vervet, gelada, mangabey, langur, mandrill, surili (Presbytis), patas, and proboscis monkey. Phylogenetically, they are more closely related to apes than to New World monkeys. They diverged from a common ancestor of New World monkeys around 55 million years ago.

Rhesus macaque Species of Old World monkey

The rhesus macaque, colloquially rhesus monkey, is a species of Old World monkey. It is listed as least concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and its tolerance of a broad range of habitats. It is native to South, Central, and Southeast Asia and has the widest geographic range of all non-human primates, occupying a great diversity of altitudes and a great variety of habitats, from grasslands to arid and forested areas, but also close to human settlements.

Barbary macaque Species of Old World monkey

The Barbary macaque, also known as Barbary ape or magot, is a macaque species native to the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco along with a small population of uncertain origin in Gibraltar. It is one of the best-known Old World monkey species.

Arunachal macaque Species of Old World monkey

The Arunachal macaque is a macaque native to Arunachal Pradesh in North-east India. It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. It was scientifically described in 2005.

Hoolock gibbon Genus of apes

The hoolock gibbons are three primate species of genus Hoolock in the gibbon family, Hylobatidae, native to eastern Bangladesh, Northeast India, Myanmar and Southwest China.

Assam macaque Species of Old World monkey

The Assam macaque or Assamese macaque is a macaque of the Old World monkey family native to South and Southeast Asia. Since 2008, the species has been listed as "near threatened" by the IUCN, as it is experiencing significant declines due to hunting, habitat degradation, and fragmentation.

Stump-tailed macaque Species of Old World monkey

The stump-tailed macaque, also called the bear macaque, is a species of macaque found in South Asia. In India, it is found in south of the Brahmaputra River, in the northeastern part of the country. Its range in India extends from Assam and Meghalaya to eastern Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.

Linda Marie Fedigan, is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Primatology and Bioanthropology at the University of Calgary, Alberta. In addition, Fedigan is also the Executive Editor of the American Journal of Primatology and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Prior to accepting her current position, Dr. Fedigan was a professor at the University of Alberta, teaching anthropology from 1974 until 2001. She is internationally recognized for over 30 years of contribution to the study of primate life history, reproduction, socioecology and conservation and is considered a major authority on the life history and reproductive patterns of female primates.

Southern pig-tailed macaque Species of mammal

The southern pig-tailed macaque, also known as the Sundaland pig-tailed macaque and Sunda pig-tailed macaque, is a medium-sized macaque that lives in southern Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It is known locally as the beruk.

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Eaglenest or Eagle's Nest Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area of India in the Himalayan foothills of West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh. It conjoins Sessa Orchid Sanctuary to the northeast and Pakhui Tiger Reserve across the Kameng river to the east. Altitude ranges are extreme: from 500 metres (1,640 ft) to 3,250 metres (10,663 ft). It is a part of the Kameng Elephant Reserve.

Northern pig-tailed macaque Species of Old World monkey

The northern pig-tailed macaque is a species of macaque in the family Cercopithecidae. It is found in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Traditionally, M. leonina was considered a subspecies of the southern pig-tailed macaque, but is now classified as individual species.

Anwaruddin Choudhury, M.A., Ph.D, D.Sc, is an Indian naturalist, noted for his expertise on the fauna of North-East India.

Myanmar snub-nosed monkey Species of Old World monkey

The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey or black snub-nosed monkey is a critically threatened species of colobine monkey discovered in 2010 in northern Burma (Myanmar). It was formally described as a novel species of primate in 2011 based on its fur, beard and tail. Two groups of the species were discovered in China in 2011 and 2015, respectively.

Tibetan macaque Species of Old World monkey

The Tibetan macaque, also known as the Chinese stump-tailed macaque or Milne-Edwards' macaque, is a macaque species found from eastern Tibet east to Guangdong and north to Shaanxi in China. It has also been reported from northeastern India. This species lives in subtropical forests at elevations from 800 to 2,500 m above sea level.

Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary

The Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary, established in 1989, is rich in flora and fauna. It is situated in the Lohit District of the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The park is named after the Kamlang River which flows through it. The Mishmi, Digaru Mishmi, and Miju Mishmi people tribal people who reside around the periphery of the sanctuary claim their descent from the King Rukmo of the epic Mahabharata. They believe in a myth of an invisible god known as Suto Phenkhenynon jamalu. An important body of water in the sanctuary is the Glow Lake. Located in tropical and sub-tropical climatic zones, the sanctuary is the habitat of the four big cat species of India: tiger, leopard, clouded leopard and snow leopard.


  1. "Macaca leucogenys: New Species of Macaque Discovered in Tibet". Sci-News.com. April 16, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  2. 1 2 "New species of primate spotted in Arunachal". The Hindu. April 25, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Li, C.; Zhao, C.; Fan, P. F. (2015). "White-cheeked macaque (Macaca leucogenys): A new macaque species from Modog, southeastern Tibet". American Journal of Primatology. 77 (7): 753–766. doi:10.1002/ajp.22394. PMID   25809642.
  4. Swatman, Rachel (February 8, 2016). "Celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Monkey with these amazing primate records". Guinness World Records. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  5. 1 2 Douglass, Michelle (9 April 2015). "Gorgeous images reveal new macaque". BBC News. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  6. Depra, Dianne (April 12, 2015). "Scientists Discover New Species Of Macaque - Here's What's Unique About Them". Tech Times. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  7. Li, C; Zhao, C; Fan, PF (2015). "White-cheeked macaque (Macaca leucogenys): A new species from Medog, south Tibet". Am J Primatol. 77 (7): 753–66. doi:10.1002/ajp.22394. PMID   25809642.
  8. Abraham, Bobins (April 25, 2016). "Rare Primate Species White Cheeked Macaque Discovered In Arunachal Pradesh". India Times. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  9. Park, Paula (April 9, 2015). "New monkey species revealed thanks to distinctive penis". New Scientist. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  10. Osborne, Hannah (April 10, 2015). "New species of monkey - white-cheeked macaque - identified by its weird penis and dark hairy scrotum". International Business Times. Retrieved March 17, 2016.