Agile gibbon

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Agile gibbon[1]
A male agile gibbon
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Hylobatidae
Genus: Hylobates
H. agilis
Binomial name
Hylobates agilis
F. Cuvier, 1821
Agile Gibbon area.png
Agile gibbon range

Hylobates albo griseus Ludeking, 1862
Hylobates albo nigrescens Ludeking, 1862
Hylobates rafflei É. Geoffroy, 1828
Hylobates unko Lesson, 1829

The agile gibbon (Hylobates agilis), also known as the black-handed gibbon, is an Old World primate in the gibbon family. It is found in Indonesia on the island of Sumatra, Malaysia, and southern Thailand. The species is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List due to habitat destruction and the pet trade.


The species is generally thought not to have subspecies, but some experts recognise a mountain form and a lowland form.[2]

  • Mountain agile gibbon, Hylobates agilis agilis
  • Lowland agile gibbon, Hylobates agilis unko


The agile gibbon has fur varying in color from black to red-brown. Its brow is white, and the male can be recognized by its white or light-grey cheeks. Additionally, the male is slightly larger than the female. The agile gibbon weighs from 4 to 6 kg (8.8 to 13.2 lb) with an average of 5 kg (11 lb), though in captivity it can reach 8 kg (18 lb).[3][4] It has a head and body length of 44–63.5 cm (17.3–25.0 in).[4] Like all gibbons it is tailless.


With its long arms they swing on branches, brachiating at a fast pace. Like all gibbons, it lives in monogamous pairs in a strictly enforced territory, which is defended with vigorous visual displays and songs.[3] The diet of the agile gibbon is generally frugivorous but have also been observed eating leaves, flowers, and insects.[3]

Females give birth to a single offspring after seven months' gestation. The young gibbon is weaned at barely 2 years of age. When fully mature, at about 8 years, it leaves its family group in order to look for a mate.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The agile gibbon is found on Sumatra southeast of Lake Toba and the Singkil River, in a small area on the Malay Peninsula, and south Thailand near the Malaysian border.[2] It predominantly lives arboreally in rain forests and rarely comes to the ground.


  1. ^ Groves, C.P. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 179. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b c Geissmann, T. & Nijman, V. (2008). "Hylobates agilis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2008: e.T10543A3198943. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T10543A3198943.en. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Kuester, J. (2000). "Hylobates agilis". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Fact sheet: agile gibbon" (PDF). EAZA Ape Campaign. 2010. Archived from the original (pdf) on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2012.

External links[edit]