The taxonomy of the douc and snub-nosed langurs has changed several times during the 20th century. The controversy over the systematic position of these animals has been due in part to difficulties in studying them: both the doucs and the snub-nosed langurs are rare in the wild and are generally poorly represented in institutional collections. This review is based on a detailed examination of relatively large numbers of specimens of most of the species of langurs concerned. An attempt was made to draw upon as many types of information as were available in order to make an assessment of the phyletic relationships between the langur species under discussion. Toward this end, quantitative and qualitative features of the skeleton, specific features of visceral anatomy and characteristics of the pelage were utilized. The final data matrix comprised 178 characters. The matrix was analyzed using the program Hennig86. The results of the analysis support the following conclusions: (1) that the douc and snub-nosed langurs are generically distinct and should be referred to as species of Pygathrix
respectively; (2) that the Tonkin snub-nosed langur be placed in its own subgenus as Rhinopithecus (Presbytiscus) avunculus
and that the Chinese snub-nosed langur thus be placed in the subgenus Rhinopithecus (Rhinopithecus);
(3) that four extant species of Rhinopithecus
be recognized: R. (Rhinopithecus) roxellana
Milne Edwards, 1870; R. (Rhinopithecus) bieti
Milne Edwards, 1897; R. (Rhinopithecus) brelichi
Thomas, 1903, and R. (Presbytiscus) avunculus
Dollman, 1912; (4) that the Chinese snub-nosed langurs fall into northern and southern subgroups divided by the Yangtze river; (5) that R. lantianensis
Hu and Qi, 1978, is a valid fossil species, and (6) the precise affinities and taxonomic status of the fossil species R. tingianus
Matthew and Granger, 1923, are unclear because the type specimen is a subadult.
Nina G. Jablonski, Department of Anatomy and Human Biology, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia 6009 (Australia)
Received: January 13, 1992
Published online: September 12, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 20
Folia Primatologica (International Journal of PrimatologyInternationale Zeitschrift für PrimatologieJournal international de Primatologie)
Vol. 60, No. 1-2, Year 1993 (Cover Date: 1993)
Journal Editor: Crompton R.H. (Liverpool)
ISSN: 0015–5713 (Print), eISSN: 1421–9980 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/FPR
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