White-Handed Gibbon: 21 Facts You Won’t Believe!

White-handed gibbon facts about the species found in dipterocarp forests, lowland, and sub montane rain forests.

Gibbon of family Hylobatidae is of around 20 species of tiny apes found in Southeast Asia's tropical jungles. Gibbons, like great apes, have a human-like body and no tail; nevertheless, gibbons appear to lack higher cognitive faculties and self-awareness. They also have larger limbs, thick hair, and a neck pouch for amplifying sound, which distinguishes them from giant apes. Hoolock, Hylobates, Nomascus, and Symphalangus are the four genera that contain gibbon species. According to molecular evidence, the four groupings are as distinct as chimps and humans. The Sumatran lar gibbon (Hylobates lar), white-handed gibbon, is a jeopardized primate in the gibbon family, Hylobatidae. It is one of the well-known gibbon species whose family groups can be found living on forest canopies.

Here are some interesting facts on white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) for your perusal. Afterward, do check our other articles on hoolock gibbon and greyador as well.

White-Handed Gibbon

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Mantids and wasps

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

1 young

How much do they weigh?

13.2-19.8 lb (6-9 kg)

How long are they?


How tall are they?

16.54-22.99 in (42.0-58.3 cm)

What do they look like?

Black and brown fur color or lighter cream color fur

Skin Type

Hairy and thick fur

What are their main threats?

Habitat destruction, hunting pressure, rise in sea level, agricultural development

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them

Dipterocarp forests, lowland and submontane bamboo forests, peat swamp forests


Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Sumatra, Thailand, Vietnam)





Scientific Name

Hylobates lar





White-Handed Gibbon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a white-handed gibbon?

The white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) is a fundamentally imperiled ape in the Hylobatidae group of gibbons. White-handed gibbons are found living in dense forests and jungles in Southeast Asia. It is one of the widely known subspecies of gibbons like H.L. yunnanensis, H.L. entelloides, H.L. vestitus, and H.L. carpenteri.

What class of animal does a white-handed gibbon belong to?

Hylobates lar (white-handed gibbon) belongs to the mammals class of animals through its ability to give birth to its young ones and feed them through the mammary glands.

How many white-handed gibbons are there in the world?

The white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar), lar gibbon as it is commonly known, is endangered because of poaching, the pet trade, and, most notably, habitat degradation. One of the subspecies Lar Carpenteri, has been assumed to be extinct in Yunnan, China, since 2008. Estimates place the number of survivors in Thailand at 15,000 and 20,000.

Where does a white-handed gibbon live?

The white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) lives in trees and likes to remain high up in the canopy of trees. Their extremely long arms permit them to swing easily among the tree limbs.

What is a white-handed gibbon habitat?

The white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) home ranges vary in size from 0.06-0.15 sq mi (0.17-0.4 sqkm). Their altitude range is only 3937 ft (1,200 m). White-handed gibbons are mostly found in the upper canopy and are rarely encountered in the understory as their long arms allow them to brachiate through a forest canopy.)

Who do white-handed gibbons live with?

White-handed gibbons generally live in groups of two to six individual primates. Females dwell in large groups with many resources, whereas males dwell in tiny groups with very few resources.

How long does a white-handed gibbon live?

White-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar) have a life expectancy of 30 years in the wild. The lifespan of these apes can increase up to 44 years in captive environments.

How do they reproduce?

White-handed gibbons, for the most part, follow a monogamous mating system, and males are seen with females who live in the more modest home reaches where assets are denser, though polyandry is found in females who live in the bigger home reaches and great assets are not various. Females give birth to one young about every 3.5 years, and the young white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) matures at the age of around seven months.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN now lists white-handed gibbons as an endangered species. Their plight is exacerbated in part by Thailand's thriving illicit pet trade. Population survival rates for white-handed gibbons are highest in protected conservation zones.

White-Handed Gibbon Fun Facts

What do white-handed gibbons look like?

White-handed gibbons (common name lar gibbon) have small heads and smooth, apelike faces that are outlined with thick fur. This lar gibbon species do not have tails like other apes. Amongst their most prominent features are the long arms that are used to brachiate through the trees, which serve as their habitat. The fur of a lar gibbon can be any color, such as brown or black, or can sometimes be mixed with white. There are contrasting markings on their faces, feet, and hands of a lar gibbon.

White-handed gibbons have white hair framing a black naked face.

How cute are they?

A large gibbon is not so adorable yet not ugly as it’s just a mixture of appearance on this primate. White-handed gibbons may fascinate us with their tree swinging skills and are adorable as a group doing their routine.

How do they communicate?

Intraspecific communication is carried out by individuals of the species through vocalization. Lar gibbons communicate using a gibbon song, which is a mix of solos and/or duets performed by bonded couples. Normal duets are loud songs performed by a mated couple and consist of an opening call, a great call, and an intermission sequence. These sounds last an average of 11 minutes and maybe heard from a range of 0.6 mi (1 km) distance.

How big is a white-handed gibbon?

A white-handed gibbon primate size range is between 16.54-22.99 in (42.0-58.3 cm).

How fast can a white-handed gibbon run?

Brachiating, a spectacular type of movement, may propel this species across the jungle at a speed range of up to 35 mph (56.3 kph), crossing gaps as big as 50 ft (15.2 m) with a single swinging jump.

How much does a white-handed gibbon weigh?

A white-handed gibbon weighs roughly around 6-9 lb (13.2-19.8 kg). This primate species is a lightweight ape and can thus freely move around using a tree branch with their elongated feet, hands, and forelimbs. They are rarely or rather never found near the forest floor.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for a male or female primate of this species. They are known as male white-handed gibbons and female white-handed gibbons. Males and females reach full sexual maturity at the age of nine years. Some individuals may attain sexual maturity sooner or later than nine years between 6-10 years of age.

What would you call a baby white-handed gibbon?

There is no specific name for a baby white-handed gibbon; they are simply called young white-handed gibbons.

What do they eat?

White-handed gibbons are, for the most part, frugivorous, benefiting from the ready product of woody climbers and tropical trees. They devour green vegetation, blossoms, and bugs too. In light of development, fruits are tested and either acknowledged or dismissed. They can also consume eggs or birds, or small insects if required.

How active are they?

Gibbons are active during the day and are social creatures. Being active during the day is called diurnal. Across the world, lar gibbons are typically active for a normal of 8.7 hours out of each day, leaving their dozing destinations close to dawn and entering resting trees a normal of 3.4 hours before nightfall.

Would they make a good pet?

All gorillas, chimps, orangutans, bonobos, and gibbons are classed as natural life in California and should be managed by the state for their wellbeing and government assistance.

Did you know...

Gibbon's arms are longer than its legs, permitting it to travel an enormous distance, roughly 10 feet, with every pendulum swing of its body.

Males can have either a dark or a light hair tone. The fur encompassing its face, hands, and feet is white, and its skin is dark.

Why is the white-handed gibbon endangered?

The white-handed gibbon, or lar gibbon as it is usually known, is jeopardized because of poaching, the pet exchange, and, most quite, natural surroundings debasement. Gibbons are now and again focused on human food and the unlawful pet exchange, while their habitat spaces across the world are being taken out through logging and transformation to modern timberland estates.

How many types of gibbons are there?

The white-handed gibbon is one of 16-17 gibbon species in the Hylobatidae family. They are ordered into four genera: Hoolock, Hylobates, Symphalangus, and Nomascus.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these orangutan facts and American leopard hound facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable White-Handed Gibbon coloring pages.



At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Get The Kidadl Newsletter

1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

Thank you! Your newsletter will be with you soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.
No items found.