Crab-eating macaque

(Macaca fascicularis)


Crab-eating macaque IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

Crab-eating macaques are relatively small, long-tailed macaques with a head-body-lenght of 36-65 cm and a tail of 36-67 cm in males and a head-body-lenght of 31-53 cm and a tail of 32-55 cm in females. Males reach a body weight of up to 9.5 kgs, with up to 5-7 kg the females are considerably lighter.


The colour of the coat is variable with varying shades of brown. The underside is paler, the face skin is dark grey and there is a prominent frill of grey hair around the face.


Long-tailed macaques are mainly frugivorous but may seasonally focus on other food sources including insects, stems, young and mature leaves, flowers, seeds, grass, mushrooms, invertebrates, bird eggs, clay and bark. Crab-eating macaques are excellent swimmers. Where they forage in mangroves, they catch crabs, frogs, shrimps and other invertebrates. Like other macaques they have cheek pouches in which they can store food as they forage, and transport it away from the foraging site to eat  Crab-eating macaques live in big groups, which can contain more than 100 individuals. The groups are divided in sub-groups. It is very uncommon to see a macaque living alone. After a pregnancy of 7 to 8 months the females will give birth to a single infant. New-born crab-eating macaques are sparsely haired and dark and weigh about 150-470 grams.

Did you know?
That the crab-eating macaque is rated by the IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group as being among the 100 World's Worst Invasive Alien Species? Crab-eating macaques are highly adaptable because they are generalist feeders. If expanding outside their origonal range, the may be responsible for the extinction of forest bird species.


Suborder SIMIAE
Name (Scientific) Macaca fascicularis
Name (English) Crab-eating macaque
Name (French) Macaque crabier
Name (German) Javaneraffe
Name (Spanish) Macaco Cangrejero
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Muhammad Mahdi Karim



Range Southeast Asia: Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, India (Andaman Islands; Nicobar Islands), Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Palau, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam. Introduced to Hong Kong and Mauritius.
Habitat Found in a wide range of habitats: primary and secondary forests, mangrove forests, swamps and riverine forests, plantations and the outskirts of towns and villages, often near bodies of water. The Crab-eating macaque was introduced to several locations (Hong Kong, western New Guinea, Angaur Island in Palau, and Mauritius) where they are a threat to many native species.
Wild population Unknown but it has the third largest range of any primate species and the total population of the Crab-eating macaque is currently not under significant threat.
Zoo population 263 reported to ISIS (2006) but this species is often kept in captivity (mostly captive-bred now) for medical researches

In the Zoo

Crab-eating macaque


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 31 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Why do zoos keep this animal

Zoos keep crab-eating macaques primarily for educational purposes, because of their interesting social life and because they may be used as an exampke of an introduced invasive species. Crab-eating macaques may also serve as ambassadors for the conservation of mangrove forests.