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Vol. 52, No. 1-2, 1989
Issue release date: 1989
Folia Primatol 1989;52:27–57

Comparative Study of Vocal Communication in Two Asian Leaf Monkeys, Presbytis johnii and Presbytis entellus

Hohmann G.
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, and Max-Planck-Institute for Psychiatry, Munich, FRG

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This paper presents comparative data on the vocal communication of two Asian leaf monkeys, the Nilgiri langur (Presbytis johnii) and South Indian common langur (Presbytis entellus), based on sound recordings and behavioural observations of free-ranging groups. Spectrographical analyses revealed a repertoire of 18 basic patterns for Nilgiri langurs, and 21 basic patterns for common langurs. The repertoires of the two langur species consist of both discretely structured vocal patterns, in which alterations of the physical parameters are restricted to intra-class variation, and those in which structural variations cause intergradation between different sections of the repertoire. Qualitative assessments of group scans indicate that in both species vocal behaviour is characterized by pronounced sex-differences in the use of the different elements of the vocal repertoire. Comparison of data available from different populations of P. entellus suggests population-specific modifications on both structural and behavioural levels. Moreover, characteristic elements of the vocal systems of the two Asian species demonstrate striking similarities to those described for the African black-and-white colobus.

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