Sounds & Calls

Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus)
Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus) – Male
Photo credit: EyeEm /

The Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus) is the largest of all gibbon species and the only species in the genus Symphalangus. They are found in Peninsula Malaysia and Sumatra, mostly in hill forests above 300 metres in elevation. As a result of widespread deforestation and hunting throughout much of its range, Siamang populations are decreasing and are now considered endangered.

What does a Siamang sound like? The deep booming calls of the Siamang are one of the loudest natural sounds in the rainforests of Malaysia and Sumatra and can carry for three or more kilometres! Siamangs have a large inflatable throat sacs which enable them to make their resonant, low frequency calls. Duetting pairs combine these deep sounds with high-pitched barking notes and occasional bitonal screams.

Unlike other gibbon species which often start singing at dawn, family groups of Siamangs tend to begin song bouts later in the morning with peak call activity between 9-10am.

Listen to Siamang Sounds

The audio in the video below features two family groups of Siamangs countersinging at the edge of their territories. Recorded at Bukit Fraser, Malaysia.


Siamang – Family group singing

 B09h This sample features a typical family group singing. Recorded in the montane forest of Bukit Fraser, Malaysia.


Siamang – Distant Calls

 B11h In this recording, two groups of Siamangs can be heard calling in the distance. Recorded in Taman Negara National Park, Malaysia.