The Greater Spot-nosed Monkey

17th July 2010

Greater Spot-Nosed monkeys are the smallest monkeys from the Old World group of primates. At least 3 different guenon species have spots on their noses, the Greater Spot-nosed, Lesser Spot-nosed and the Red-tailed guenon. Greater Spot-Nosed monkeys are found in Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, apparently to the Itimbiri River in NW Dem. Rep. Congo, Central African Republic, Rio Muni and Bioko (Equatorial Guinea). Greater Spot-Nosed monkeys appear to prefer rainforests alongside rivers.Greater Spot-Nosed Monkeys head and body length is 320 - 450 miilimetres and tail length is 360 - 525 millimetres. Males weigh about 1250 grams and females about 760 grams. Their fur is a greenish grey or black to greenish yellow or buff. Their under parts are white or greyish white.


Greater Spot-Nosed monkeys have faces that are bare except for a few black hairs on the upper lip which is sometimes yellow. Their cheeks have yellow fur tipped with black and there is a black line which extends from the eye half the distance to the ear. Their eyes are black and are surrounded by yellow or orange skin. The fur at the top of the head is black and they have a mane of white which extends across the neck and chest from the base of one ear to the other. The outer limbs are a pale yellow tinged with red and the hands and feet are similarly coloured. The tail is greyish brown or black above and yellowish bellow with a blackish tip. Variations among individuals are from an overall olive to a true green tint. The main diet of the Greater Spot-Nosed monkey consists of fruits and insects.


Greater Spot-Nosed monkeys are apparently non-territorial, with adult males acting as leaders during the day and as guards at night. Adult females out number adult males. They live in small troops of 10 to 40 individuals dominated by a single male. Females are more territorial than males and they are the only permanent members of the group. Greater Spot-Nosed monkeys are not as social as some of the other primates and any grooming or socializing is usually seen between a mother and her infant. Males and females rarely interact unless it is breeding season.


The gestation period of a female Greater Spot-Nosed monkey is between 158 - 166 days. Infants weigh around 230 grams at birth. Sexual maturity is reached at age 4.5 in females and about 1 - 2 years later in males. First births have been known to happen as early as the third year and as late as the seventh year. Births occur every 1 to 3 years and infants nurse from their mothers for around 6 months, however, they may begin eating solids at 2 months of age. There is a dominant male in these groups of monkey, however, that does not mean that he has fathered any of the infants in the group. During the breeding season, solitary males or males from other groups will infiltrate the group and mate with the females. The life span of the Greater Spot-Nosed monkey is 20 - 25 years.


Greater Spot-Nosed monkeys are classed as endangered because of habitat loss. Greater Spot-Nosed monkeys are preyed upon by big cats and hawks.

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