Rhesus macaque

species of Old World monkey

The rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), often called the Rhesus monkey and Indian monkey, is one of the best known species of Old World monkeys.

Pet Rhesus Monkey at Araku, Andhra Pradesh.
Female Rhesus macaque in Madhya Pradesh

It lives in a wide area, and has an unknown but quite large population. It lives in a broad range of habitats. Native to South, Central and Southeast Asia, troops of Macaca mulatta inhabit a great variety of habitats from grasslands to arid and forested areas, but also close to human settlements.[1]

Rhesus macaques are native to northern India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Afghanistan, Vietnam, southern China, and some neighboring areas. They have the widest geographic ranges of any nonhuman primate. He is also known as national mammal of Pakistan.

They are regular swimmers. Babies as young as a few days old can swim, and adults are known to swim over a half mile between islands. Rhesus macaques are noted for their tendency to move from rural to urban areas, where they rely on handouts or refuse from humans.[2]


  1. Timmins R.J.; et al. (2008). "Macaca mulatta". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. International Union for Conservation of Nature.
  2. Ciani A.C. (1986). Intertroop agonistic behavior of a feral rhesus macaque troop ranging in town and forest areas in India (PDF). Aggressive Behavior 12: 433−439. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-04-08.