Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Southern pig-tailed macaque

Macaca nemestrina

Carolus Linnaeus, 1766

In Thai: ลิงกัง

The southern pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina) is a medium-sized Old World monkey.

Etymology and taxonomy

The species epithet, nemestrina, is an adjective (derived from Latin Nemestrinus, the god of groves) modified to agree in gender with the feminine generic name.

It formerly included the northern pig-tailed, Pagai Island, and Siberut macaques as subspecies.


Macaca nemestrina can reach a weight of 5–15 kg in large males. These monkeys are buff-brown with a darker back and lighter lower parts of the body. Their common name refers to the short tail held semi-erect and reminiscent of the tail of a pig.

Behaviour and ecology

They are mainly terrestrial but they also are skilled climbers. Unlike almost all primates they love water. They live in large groups split into smaller groups during the day when they are looking for food. They are omnivorous, feeding mainly on fruits, seeds, berries, cereals, fungi and invertebrates.

There is a hierarchy among males, based on the strength, and among females, based on heredity. Thus, the daughter of the dominant female will immediately be placed above all other females in the group. The dominant female leads the group, while the male role is more to manage conflict within the group and to defend it.

Sexual maturity is reached at the age of 3–5 years. Female gestation lasts about 6 months. She will give birth to one infant every two years. Weaning occurs at 4–5 months.

Habitat and distribution

This macaque is mostly found in rainforest up to 2000 meters, but will also enter plantations and gardens.

It is found in the southern half of the Malay Peninsula (only just extending into southernmost Thailand), Borneo, Sumatra and Bangka Island.

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Scientific classification

Macaca nemestrina

Common names

  • German: Südliche Schweinsaffe
  • English:
    • Pig-tailed macaque
    • Pigtail macaque
    • Southern pig-tailed macaque
    • Sundaland pigtail macaque
  • Spanish:
    • Macaca cola de cerdo
    • Macaco cola de cerdo sureño
  • French:
    • Macaque à queue de cochon
    • Macaque à queue de cochon des îles de la Sonde
  • Italian: Macaco nemestrino
  • Dutch:
    • Lampongaap
    • Laponderaap
  • Swedish: Svinmakak
  • Thai:
    • ลิงกัง
    • ลิงกังใต้


  • Macaca nucifera, Henri Jacob Victor Sody (1936)
  • Macaca broca, Gerrit Smith Miller, Jr (1906)
  • Macaca brachyurus, Charles Hamilton Smith (1842)
  • Macaca maimon, Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville (1839)
  • Macaca libidinosus, Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1826)
  • Macaca carpolegus, Thomas Stamford Raffles (1821)
  • Macaca fusca, George Shaw (1800)
  • Macaca longicruris, Johann Heinrich Friedrich Link (1795)
  • Macaca platypygos, Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber (1774)

Conservation status

Vulnerable (IUCN3.1)

Vulnerable (IUCN3.1)


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Southern pig-tailed macaque
Southern pig-tailed macaque
Southern pig-tailed macaque distribution

Range Map

Distribution map of Southern pig-tailed macaque, Macaca nemestrina in Thailand
  • Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Surin Islands
  • Ton Nga-Chang Wildlife Sanctuary
Range map of Macaca nemestrina in Thailand