The lar gibbon (Hylobates lar), also known as the white-handed gibbon, is a primate in the Hylobatidae or gibbon family. It is one of the better-known gibbons and is often seen in zoos.
The range of the lar gibbon extends from southwest China and eastern Myanmar to Thailand and down the whole Malay Peninsula. It is also present in the northwest portion of the island of Sumatra.
The fur coloring of the lar gibbon varies from black and dark-brown to light brown sandy colors. The hands and feet are white colored. There is a ring of white hair that surrounds the black face. Both males and females can have all color variants, and the sexes also hardly differ in size. As is the case for all gibbons, they have long hands and no tail.
Lar gibbons are diurnal and tree dwelling, inhabiting rain forests. They rarely come on ground, but they use their long arms to go through the trees. With their hooked hands they can move swiftly with great momentum, swinging from the branches. Lar gibbons live monogamously, mating for life. The family groups inhabit a firm territory, which they protect by warding off other gibbons with their calls. Their diet consists primarily of fruits. They also eat leaves, buds, and insects.
Sexually they are similar to other gibbons. Pregnancy is seven months long and pregnancies are usually of a single young. Young are nursed for approximately two years, and full maturity comes at about 8 years. The life expectancy of the lar gibbons in the wild is about 25 years.
Lar gibbons are threatened in various ways. They are sometimes hunted for their meat and sometimes a parent is killed in order to capture young animals for pets. The largest danger is the loss of habitat.