View Full Version : Lantana & Langur

Sabyasachi Patra
13-07-2009, 07:27 PM
Lantana an exotic weed was introduced into India as a ornamental flower. It has since colonised vast tracts of forest land in South, North and west of India. It doesn't allow other native trees to grow. Till date no solution has been found to deal with this menace.

Earlier, animals used to avoid the forests infested by these lantana. Slowly, they have started adapting to it. Its fruits and leaves were not eaten by any animal or bird as it is supposed to be toxic.

I saw this langur monkey jump into a dense lantana bush and sat on it. And then the langur started eating the leaves and buds.

This image was created in Corbett National Park, India

Canon EOS 1D Mark II, Canon EF 400mm f2.8 L IS USM, ISO 200, f7.1, 1/320 sec, full frame.


AB Apana
13-07-2009, 07:52 PM
Interesting Sabyasachi, first I've heard of this.


Sabyasachi Patra
20-07-2009, 07:22 PM
In this photo one can clearly see that the langur monkey is eating the lantana flowers. Corbett National Park. Herbivores don't eat the leaves of lantana due to toxicity. Its fruits are also supposed to be toxic when it is green.


Mrudul Godbole
20-07-2009, 08:46 PM
This is a very different behaviour captured. I think they have adjusted to the changed enviornment and adapted themselves to eat these plants.

Lakshminarayanan Nataraja
03-08-2009, 08:31 PM
Both the imajes are fantastic. Razor sharp.

Strange that the langurs are feeding on lantana. I have never seen Nilgiri langurs feeding on weeds. They are more wary and nervous than the Hanuman Langurs and are more arboreal.

Meanwhile, have anybody seen Bonnet or Rhesus macaques feeding on lantana or any other weeds ???

There are nearly 60 FIS plant species (forest invasive species) which are ruining our forests.

We need to be more aware of invasives and should be very careful while visiting ecologically sensitive places. Even a minute seed of an invasive struck in shoes or socks is potential enough to cause unimaginable damage.

Visitors especially to shola forests, grass lands etc should observe great care.

Chetan Nag
20-08-2009, 11:07 AM
I myself have seen common langurs feeding on Lantana at Horsley hills, Madanapalli, Andhra pradesh and at Hampi... I have the images from Madanapalli . Let me know if somebody is interested....

Sabyasachi Patra
20-08-2009, 11:20 AM
Hi Chetan,
Welcome to IndiaWilds!

You can upload your images regarding lantana and langur here. If you also start a new thread to share interesting behaviour about langurs. That would help in increasing our knowledge.


Dhaval Momaya
05-09-2009, 08:23 PM
Ditto with the Coromandel Grey Langurs in Theppakadu, Mudumalai. I have also commonly observed chital and sambar feeding on lantana leaves, and the JLR naturalists at BR Hills tell me even elephants feed on it. I doubt if lantana actually is poisonous, though. Langurs have amazing digestive systems (AFA digesting leaves is concerned) able to digest some of the most unpalatable leaves.

Have you tried tasting L. camara leaves? The mature ones are quite tasty, a bit like tulsi and a bit like mint. In Arunachal Pradesh (Jairampur and Miao) many people use the crushed leaves and leaf juices to treat cuts and bleeding wounds. It is believed to disinfect and also coagulate the blood.