Host: Primate Society of Japan
The k-shape Sulawesi Island (Central Indonesia) is the interface of Asia/Oriental and Indo-Australian zoogeographical realms where endemism level is high. Of the 127 mammal species indigenous to Indonesia, 79 (62%) are endemic to Sulawesi. The most apparent among these are seven species of monkeys of the genus Macaca that are distributed allopatrically. The Sulawesi macaques are thought of as having an ancestor that was a member of the stock that lived in continental Asia. From Sunda Land, insular part of Asia/Oriental zoogeographic realm, they crossed Wallace Line to enter Sulawesi. There are three issues regarding the evolution of Sulawesi macaques. The first is taxonomic status, the second phylogenetic relationship, and the third hybrid population problem. The key to answer these questions is how to identify individuals in assigning them to any technical groupings that may or may not relate to taxonomic value. In their speciation into the Sulawesi macaques they differentiated their external morphological characters to become various morphs. These variations are readily observed, however, the available descriptions by Fooden (1969) were based on museum specimens that prone to change. Here we review the Fooden's external characters by compare it to observations gathered on live monkeys in the island. The variations of the characters are enormous and we had to take the three questions above in mind in defining their states. We succeeded to record thirteen size, shape and color polymorphic characters. We apply the resulting definitions to categorize seven morphological groupings in accordance to Fooden's (1969) taxonomic review.