Arockianathan Samson, Vulture Conservation and Breeding Programme, Bombay Natural History Society (Mumbai, 400001, Maharashtra, India); iD ORCID:; e-mail:
Kamaldeen A. Hakkeem, Wildlife Nature and Conservation Trust (Udhagamandalam, 643002, the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India).
Jabamalainathan L. Princy, Herpetology and Tribal Medicine Lab, Department of Zoology and Wildlife Biology, Government Arts College (Udhagamandalam, 643002, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India); iD ORCID:

Reference to article

Samson A., Hakkeem K.A., Princy J.L. 2021. First record on melanism in Semnopithecus priam from Tamil Nadu, India. Nature Conservation Research 6(1): 98–99.

Section Research Notes

Semnopithecus priam is a Near Threatened species found in southern India and Sri Lanka. On 25 July 2020, a melanistic S. priam individual was observed in Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India. This observation revealed that it is the first known case of melanism in Semnopithecus priam in India and its distributional range.


Cercopithecidae, mammal, Nilgiris, primate, Western Ghats

Artice information

Received: 01.10.2020. Revised: 10.12.2020. Accepted: 12.12.2020.

The full text of the article

Allen W.L., Cuthill I.C., Scott-Samuel N.E., Baddeley R. 2010. Why the leopard got its spots: Relating pattern development to ecology in felids. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 278(1710): 1373–1380. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1734
Caro T. 2005. The adaptive significance of coloration in mammals. BioScience 55(2):125–136. DOI: 10.1641/0006-3568(2005)055[0125:TASOCI]2.0.CO;2
Chetan N., Praveen K.K., Vasudeva G.K. 2014. Delineating Ecological Boundaries of Hanuman Langur Species Complex in Peninsular India Using MaxEnt Modeling Approach. PLoS ONE 9(2): e87804. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087804
Cott H.B. 1940. Adaptive Coloration in Mammals. London: Methuen. 508 p.
Gloger C.W.L. 1833. Das Abändern der Vögel durch Einfluss des Klimas: Nach zoologischen, zunächst von dem europäischen Landvälgeln, entnommenen Beobachtungen dargestellt, mit den entsprechenden Erfahrungen bei den europäischen Säugthieren verglichen, und durch Tatsachen aus dem Gebiete der Physiologie, der Physik und der physischen Geographie erläutert. Breslau: August Schulz & Co. 159 p.
Kettlewell H.B.D. 1973. The evolution of melanism. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 388 p.
Mahabal A., Sharma R.M., Patil R.N., Jadhav S. 2019. Colour aberration in Indian mammals: a review from 1886 to 2017. Journal of Threatened Taxa 11(6): 13690–13719. DOI: 10.11609/jott.3843.11.6.13690-13719
Menon V. 2014. Indian Mammals: A Field Guide. Gurgaon: Hachette India Local. 528 p.
Ortolani A., Caro T.M. 1996. The adaptive significance of color patterns in carnivores: phylogenetic tests of classic hypotheses. In J.L. Gittleman (Ed.): Carnivore behavior, ecology, and evolution. Vol. 2. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. P. 132–188.
Ramakrishnan B., Samson A., Ramasubramanian S. 2016. Observation of melanism in Indian Giant Flying Squirrel (Petaurista philippensis) at Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, SouthernIndia. Zoo's Print 31(9): 8.
Samson A., Ramakrishnan B., Bargavi S. 2017. Leucism in the three-striped palm squirrel (Funambulus palmarum) at Gudalur Forest Division, Tamil Nadu, Southern India. Therya 8(3): 261–262. DOI: 10.12933/therya-17-503
Tougias R. 2011. The Quest For The Eastern Cougar: Extinction or Survival?. Bloomington: iUniverse Publishing. 336 p.
Ulmer F.A. 1941. Melanism in the Felidae, with special reference to the genus Lynx. Journal of Mammalogy 22(3): 285–288. DOI: 10.2307/1374954