Investigations of vocal communication in captive groups of lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus) revealed a repertoire of 17 basic patterns. Sixteen of them were recorded and their physical parameters analysed by sonagrams. During a field study these results were verified and complemented, and additional data on the vocal behaviour of this species were gathered. The vocal repertoire of lion-tailed macaques is characterized by discretely structured, mostly interaction- and situation-specific sound patterns. The fundamental characteristics of vocal communication seem to be adjusted to the acoustic conditions of the rain forest habitat as well as to the social organization in 1-male groups. In contrast to other species of the macaque genus, lion-tailed macaques are highly adapted to a strictly arboreal life in the rain forests of the Western Ghats (South India). Due to the dense vegetation in this habitat, propagation of visual signals is restricted to short distances. Vocal signals are therefore of great importance. The vocal repertoire of lion-tailed macaques differs from that of more terrestrial macaques insofar as the basic patterns show comparatively insignificant structural variations. Also, patterns were recorded which have not yet been found in any other member of the genus.

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