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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Cladus: Synapsida
Cladus: Eupelycosauria
Cladus: Sphenacodontia
Cladus: Sphenacodontoidea
Cladus: Therapsida
Cladus: Theriodontia
Cladus: Cynodontia
Cladus: Eucynodontia
Cladus: Probainognathia
Cladus: Prozostrodontia
Cladus: Mammaliaformes
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Trechnotheria
Infraclassis: Zatheria
Supercohors: Theria
Cohors: Eutheria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Cladus: Boreoeutheria
Superordo: Euarchontoglires
Ordo: Primates
Subordo: Haplorhini
Infraordo: Simiiformes
Parvordo: Catarrhini
Superfamilia: Hominoidea

Familia: Hylobatidae
Genus: Hoolock
Species (3): H. hoolock – H. leuconedys – H. tianxing

Hoolock Mootnick & Groves, 2005: 973

Authority for placement: original
Original status: valid genus
Type species: Simia hoolock Harlan, 1834
Fixation: original designation [p. 973]

Primary references

Mootnick, A. & Groves, C.P. 2005. A new generic name for the hoolock gibbon (Hylobatidae). International Journal of Primatology 26(4): 971–976. DOI: 10.1007/s10764-005-5332-4 Reference page.


ZooBank: 8E66CE15-D926-421E-82C5-CD6AB3333B10

Vernacular names
অসমীয়া: হলৌ বান্দৰ
English: Hoolock gibbon
日本語: フーロックテナガザル属
한국어: 흰눈썹긴팔원숭이속
ไทย: ชะนีคิ้วขาว, ชะนีฮูล็อก

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.

Hoolocks are the second-largest of the gibbons, after the siamang. They reach a size of 60 to 90 cm and weigh 6 to 9 kg. The sexes are about the same size, but they differ considerably in coloration; males are black-colored with remarkable white brows, while females have a grey-brown fur, which is darker at the chest and neck. White rings around their eyes and mouths give their faces a mask-like appearance. The Oxford English Dictionary says that the name "hoolock" is from "a language of Assam."
Range of the hoolock and other gibbons

In northeast India, the hoolock is found south of Brahmaputra and the North Bank areas and east of the Dibang Rivers.[4] Its range extends into seven states covering Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura (The seven northeastern states of India).[5][6] The species are protected in India in the Hollongapar Gibbon sanctuary, which support 125 Individuals of the species, as of 2023.[7] In Bangladesh, the western hoolock gibbons were distributed across 35 forest fragments. The largest of these (Lawachara and Kaptai) supported 42 and 84 individuals respectively, but 17 of the fragments had less than ten individuals. For a better overview the forest fragments are grouped into 13 areas. All areas are located within Chittagong and Sylhet divisions, mostly near the eastern border of the country. In China, in historical times, the skywalker gibbon was recorded in nine counties in the west bank of the Salween River in westernmost Yunnan province. Based on more recent interview surveys conducted in October–November 2008 and field surveys conducted in Mar, Apr, and Aug 2009, the current Chinese population of hoolock gibbons was found to be restricted to three counties (Baoshan, Tengchong, and Yingjiang). The population size was estimated to be less than 200 individuals. In Myanmar, all three species of hoolock gibbon can be found in the forested areas west of Thanlwin river. Of all four distribution countries, Myanmar holds the key population of all three species.[8]
Behaviour and diet

Like the other gibbons, they are diurnal and arboreal, brachiating through the trees with their long arms. They live together in monogamous pairs, which stake out a territory. Their calls serve to locate family members and ward off other gibbons from their territory. Their diet consists mainly of fruits, insects and leaves.
Breeding and lifecycle

Young hoolocks are born after a 7-month gestation, with milky white or buff-colored hair. After about 6 months, the hair of males darkens and turns black, while the females' hair remains buff-colored throughout their lives. After 8–9 years, they are fully mature and their fur reaches its final coloration. Their life expectancy in the wild is about 25 years.
Western hoolock gibbon
Duration: 27 seconds.0:27
Call of hoolock gibbon from Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, Assam

The classification of this gibbon has changed several times in the past few years. Classically, all gibbons were classified in the genus Hylobates, with the exception of the siamang. After some studies, the genus was divided into three subgenera (including the siamang's Symphalangus), and then into four (recognizing Bunopithecus as the hoolock subgenus distinct from other gibbon subgenera). These four subgenera were elevated to full genus status. However, the type species for Bunopithecus is Bunopithecus sericus, an extinct gibbon or gibbon-like ape from Sichuan, China. Very recent investigations have shown that the hoolock gibbons are not closely related to B. sericus, so they have been placed in their own genus, Hoolock. In the process, the two subspecies of hoolock gibbons have been raised to species level.[1][2] A new subspecies of the western hoolock gibbon has been described recently from northeastern India, which has been named the Mishmi Hills hoolock gibbon, H. hoolock mishmiensis.[9] A further new species, H. tianxing, with an estimated population of about 200, was discovered in southwest China in 2017.[10]

The species of hoolock are:[2][10]

Western hoolock gibbon, H. hoolock
Eastern hoolock gibbon, H. leuconedys
Skywalker hoolock gibbon, H. tianxing[3]


Groves, C. P. (2005). "Order Primates". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 178–179. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
Mootnick, A.; Groves, C. P. (2005). "A new generic name for the hoolock gibbon (Hylobatidae)". International Journal of Primatology. 26 (4): 971–976. doi:10.1007/s10764-005-5332-4. S2CID 8394136.
Fan, P-F; He, K; Chen, X; Ortiz, A; Zhang, B; Zhao, C; Li, Y-Q; Zhang, H-B; Kimock, C; Wang, W-Z; Groves, C; Turvey, S.T; Roos, C; Helgen, K.M; Jiang, X-L (2017). "Description of a new species of Hoolock gibbon (Primates: Hylobatidae) based on integrative taxonomy" (PDF). American Journal of Primatology. 79 (5): e22631. doi:10.1002/ajp.22631. PMID 28073165. S2CID 3882019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-07-22. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
Choudhury, Anwaruddin (1987) "Notes on the distribution and conservation of Phayre's leaf monkey and Hoolock gibbon in India." Tigerpaper 14(2): 2–6
Choudhury, Anwaruddin (1991). "Ecology of the hoolock gibbon (Hylobates hoolock), a lesser ape in the tropical forests of north-eastern India". Journal of Tropical Ecology. 7 (1): 147–153. doi:10.1017/S0266467400005228. JSTOR 2559687. S2CID 86606996.
Choudhury, Anwaruddin (2006). "The distribution and status of hoolock gibbon, Hoolock hoolock, in Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland in Northeast India". Primate Conservation. 20: 79–87. doi:10.1896/0898-6207.20.1.79.
Anand, Ashvita (2023-11-25). "In Assam, railway line expansion and electrification threaten the hoolock gibbon, India's only ape". Retrieved 2023-11-26.
Geissmann, T.; Grindley, M. E.; Lwin, Ngwe; Aung, Saw Soe; Aung, Thet Naing; Htoo, Saw Blaw; Momberg, F. (2013). The Conservation Status of Hoolock Gibbons in Myanmar. Zürich, Switzerland: Gibbon Conservation Alliance. pp. xii + 157. ISBN 978-3-033-04358-9.
Choudhury, A. U. (2013). "Description of a new subspecies of hoolock gibbon Hoolock hoolock from North East India". The Newsletter & Journal of the Rhino Foundation for Nat. In NE India. 9: 49–59.

Brown, Georgia (11 January 2017). "New species of gibbon discovered in China". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 27 April 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2017.

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