Pelage Color Variation ofMacaca arctoidesand Its Evolutionary Implications


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Stump-tailed macaques (Macaca arctoides) exhibit significant intraspecific variation in pelage color. Based on their pelage color and geographical distribution, they are classified into 2 subspecies: northern bright brown Macaca arctoides arctoides and southern black Macaca arctoides melanota. However, studies on the natural population are extremely scarce, and researchers have occasionally questioned the subspecific classification. We quantitatively examined pelage color variation of Macaca arctoides in 3 free-ranging populations in Thailand. Pelage color difference between populations is significant. The population distributed south of the Isthmus of Kra showed wide intrapopulational variation, including bright brown, dark brown, and completely black, whereas the northern populations primarily had dark brown hairs. Thus, we conclude that one cannot classify the color variants into subspecies. Further, we hypothesize that the distinctive polymorphism in southern Thailand resulted from geographical isolation caused by the Pleistocene eustatic fluctuations and subsequent recovery of land connection and subsequent gene flow.

    loading  Loading Related Articles