Brelich's Snub-nosed Langur (Pygathrix brelichi)


MORPHOLOGY:
This species has a sacculated stomach to assist in the breakdown of cellulose. The black snub-nosed langur has a dental formula of 2:1:2:3 on both the lower and upper jaws (Ankel-Simons, 2000). The adult has a pelage color of golden on the brow, chest, and inner surfaces of the upper arms (Bleisch et al., 1993). The adult also has a long tail, which is black and tipped on the end white (Bleisch et al., 1993). The distal limbs, sides of the neck, and top of the head are black (Bleisch et al., 1993). The hands and feet are blackish (Groves, 2001). The adult has ears, which are tipped white, and the back is brown on the upper portion then blends down the back to a gray color (Bleisch et al., 1993). The face of the adult is bare and is white in color tinged slightly blue (Bleisch et al., 1993; Groves, 2001). Adult males have red hair on the back and head (Bleisch, 1991). Adult males also have white a scrotum and nipples (Bleisch et al., 1993; Bleisch, 1991; Ren et al., 1996/1997). Juveniles are lighter than adults being more of a gray color and infants are all white when born (Bleisch et al., 1993). The average body mass for an adult male is 14 kilograms and for an adult female it is 8 kilograms (Kirkpatrick, 1995).

RANGE:
Brelich's snub-nosed langur is found in the country of China. This species is found in Guizhou province in the area surrounding Fanjing Mountain in the Wuling Mountain range (Bleisch et al., 1993; Bleisch and Xie, 1994; Groves, 2001). This species lives in forests of mixed deciduous and evergreen broadleaf trees and deciduous broadleaf trees (Bleisch et al., 1993; Xie et al., 1998). Brelich's snub-nosed langur is found in the zone of Fanjing mountain between 1,500 and 2,200 meters (Bleisch et al., 1993; Bleisch, 1995).

ECOLOGY:
Brelich's snub-nosed langur is a folivorous species. This species also consumes leaf buds, flower buds, fruits, seeds, bark, and insect larvae (Bleisch et al., 1993; Bleisch, 1995). Brelich's snub-nosed langur consumes leaf petioles of the species Fagus longipetiolata and Acer spp. (Bleisch et al., 1993; Bleisch, 1995). Leaves eaten by this species tend to be relatively high in available protein, but not total protein or NDF fiber content (Dierenfeld et al., 1994; Bleisch et al., 1998). Flowers bubs of Cornus controversa have been found to be consumed by this species (Bleisch, 1995). Fruits and seeds of the genera Prunus, Dendrobenthamia, and Sorbus are eaten by Brelich's snub-nosed langur (Bleisch, 1995). The diet of this species varies from season to season (Bleisch and Xie, 1998; Bleisch et al., 1998). During the winter the majority of the food eaten is leaf buds and in the spring leaves are the primary food consumed (Bleisch and Xie, 1998). During the summer leaves are still the primary food consumed but fruits and seeds are consumed at a higher rate (Bleisch and Xie, 1998). During autumn the primary food consumed is leaf buds, but flower buds of the genus Magnolia and leaves are also consumed (Bleisch and Xie, 1998; Bleisch, 1995). During the months of November and December a large amount of the diet consists of parts (flower buds, leaf buds, and leaf petioles) of four Magnolia spp. even though magnolias are rare in their range, suggesting that this is a very important plant in the diet of Brelich's snub-nosed langur (Bleisch, 1995). This species is in competition with humans, Homo sapiens, for the magnolia buds who use collect the buds for medicinal oil (Bleisch and Xie, 1994). The proportion of leaves in the diet varies from 7% in January through March to 93% in April through June (Bleisch and Xie, 1994). Fruits and seeds are highest (35% of the diet) in the diet from July to September (Bleisch and Xie, 1994; Dierenfeld et al., 1994; Bleisch et al., 1998). Fruits and seeds of the genus Dendrobenthamia comprise 25% of the total diet from July to September (Bleisch et al., 1998). This species prefers the leaves of the genera Evodia, Euonymus, Tilia, and of the species Prunus vaniotii (Bleisch and Xie, 1998, 1994). Brelich's snub-nosed langur prefers the leaf buds of Tilia, the fruit and seeds of Dendrobenthamia angustata, and flower buds of Magnolia spp. (Bleisch and Xie, 1998). This species consumes plants with a high total of amino acids and a high content of essential acids (Xie and Bleisch, 1995).

This is a diurnal and semi-terrestrial species, but it leans more to being arboreal only coming down to the ground when there is an absence of appropriate trees (Bleisch et al., 1993). Unimale groups range in size from 5 to 10 individuals and all-male groups range in size from 2 to 5 individuals (Bleisch et al., 1993). Band size for this species can be up to 400 individuals (Bleisch and Xie, 1998; Bleisch, 1995). Bands do not have a fixed range, rather all bands can move throughout the entire available habitat (Xie et al., 1998). Groups tend to have longer day range and fewer daily rests during the winter months (Bleisch, 1995). Groups tend not to range into the lower elevations, but will go there after a severe winter storm (Bleisch, 1995). Groups will sleep in broadleaf evergreen trees with dense foliage (Rowe, 1996).

Humans, Homo sapiens, are the main predators of Brelich's snub-nosed langur (Bleisch, 1991). Also humans clear forests that this species lives in reducing the available habitat (Bleisch, 1995). Snares set for other animals by humans may accidentally trap this species (Bleisch, 1995).

LOCOMOTION:
Brelich's snub-nosed langur moves through the trees quadrupedally, and also tends to leap between trees when moving quadrupedally (Bleisch et al., 1993). This species also occasionally uses semi-brachiation. (Bleisch et al., 1993).

SOCIAL BEHAVIOR:
This species has a multi-tiered social system much like that found in Pygathrix bieti. The basic group is a unimale group composed of one male, a few breeding females, juveniles of both sexes, and infants (Bleisch et al., 1993). These unimale groups come together to form bands that range and rest together (Bleisch et al., 1993). Bleisch et al. (1993) hypothesized that the size of the bands are determined by temporal and spatial distribution of resources (Bleisch et al., 1993). All-male groups are found on the out-lying areas of the bands (Bleisch et al., 1993). Young males emigrate to the all-male groups (Rowe, 1996). One hypothesis on why the unimale groups come together to form bands is for thermoregulation purposes; since Brelich's snub-nosed langur lives in a cold environment it would be advantageous for individuals to sleep together and rest together to conserve heat (Bleisch and Xie, 1998). Also large bands may form because the food trees are highly clustered because a large patch of food is more easily exploited by a large group (Bleisch and Xie, 1994).

VOCAL COMMUNICATION:
alarm call: This call sounds like "waa-gek" (Rowe, 1996).

OLFACTORY COMMUNICATION:

VISUAL COMMUNICATION:

TACTILE COMMUNICATION:
social grooming: This is when one individual grooms another and is used to reinforce the bonds between individuals.

REPRODUCTION:
Brelich's snub-nosed langur gives birth to a single offspring. The birth season for this species is from April to May (Kirkpatrick, 1995).

REFERENCES:
Ankel-Simons, F. 2000. Primate Anatomy. Academic Press: San Diego.

Bleisch, W. 1991. Preliminary comments on the Guizhou snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus brelichi). Asian Primates. Vol. 1(3), 4.

Bleisch, W.V. 1995. Conservation of the Guizhou golden monkey. in Primate Research and Conservation. eds. W. Xia and Y. Zhang. China Forestry Publishing House: Beijing.

Bleisch, W. and Xie, J. 1994. Ecology and behavior of Guizhou golden monkeys (Rhinopithecus brelichi). (abstract) XVth Congress of the International Primatological Society. Bali-Indonesia, 279.

Bleisch, W. and Xie, J. 1998. Ecology and Behavior of the Guizhou Snub-nosed Langur (Rhinopithecus [Rhinopithecus] brelichi), with a Discussion of Socioecology in the Genus. in The Natural History of the Doucs and Snub-nosed Monkeys. ed. N.G. Jablonski. World Scientific Publishing: Singapore.

Bleisch, W., Cheng, A.S., Ren, X.D., and Xie, J.H. 1993. Preliminary Results from a Field Study of Wild Guizhou Snub-nosed Monkeys (Rhinopithecus brelichi). Folia Primatologica. Vol. 60, 72-82.

Bleisch, W.V., Liu, Z.-M., Dierenfeld, E.S., and Xie, J.-H. 1998. Selected nutrient analysis of plants in the diet of the Guizhou snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus [Rhinopithecus] brelichi). in The Natural History of the Doucs and Snub-nosed Monkeys. ed. N.G. Jablonski. World Scientific Publishing: Singapore.

Burton, F. 1995. The Multimedia Guide to the Non-human Primates. Prentice-Hall Canada Inc.

Dierenfeld, E.S., Liu, Z., Xie, J., and Bleisch, W. 1994. Field sampling and laboratory analytical techniques for optimum nutritional data: The Guizhou snub-nosed monkey as an example. (abstract) XVth Congress of the International Primatological Society. Bali-Indonesia, 363.

Groves, C.P. 2001. Primate Taxonomy. Smithsonian Institute Press: Washington, D.C.

Kirkpatrick, R.C. 1995. The Natural History and Conservation of the Snub-nosed Monkeys (Genus Rhinopithecus). Biological Conservation. Vol. 72, 363-369.

Ren, R.M., Kirkpatrick, R.C., Jablonski, N.G., Bleisch, W.V., and Le, X.C. 1996/1997. Conservation status and prospects for the snub-nosed langurs (Colobinae: Rhinopithecus). Primate Conservation. Vol. 17, 152-159.

Rowe, N. 1996. The Pictorial Guide to the Living Primates. Pogonias Press: East Hampton, New York.

Xie, J. and Bleisch, W. 1995. The influence of amino acid content on selection of food by Guizhou golden monkeys. in Primate Research and Conservation. eds. W. Xia and Y. Zhang. China Forestry Publishing House: Beijing.

Xie, J.H., Bleisch, W.V., and Wang, C.M. 1998. Habitat utilization by Guizhou snub-nosed monkeys, Rhinopithecus brelichi. (abstract) XVIIth Congress of the International Primatological Society. University of Antananarivo, Madagascar, 263.

Last Updated: June 22, 2007.
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