5 COMMON Monkeys Found in Argentina! (2024)

What kinds of monkeys live in Argentina?

types of monkeys in argentina

If you find yourself visiting Argentina, it’s only natural that you will ask yourself the above question. I mean, who doesn’t want to see monkeys!?

Luckily, there are quite a few species you should be able to find. So, keep reading to learn how to identify each primate and learn some fun and interesting facts. Pictures and range maps are also included!

5 monkey species that live in Argentina:

#1. Black Capuchin

  • Sapajus nigritus

Also known as the Black-horned Capuchin.

kinds of monkeys in argentina

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 32-55 cm (13-22 in) long with tails that are 35-50 cm (14-20 in) long.
  • A mix of black and dark brown fur covers their bodies. Their cheeks are paler in comparison.
  • You’ll notice the patches of black hair on the top of their heads forming horn-like shapes.

If you find yourself in the rainforest of Argentina, look for Black Capuchins.

This monkey sometimes forages on the ground but usually stays close to the canopy. As an omnivore, it feeds on fruits, nuts, bugs, and bird eggs. 

An alpha male leads and protects a pack of 6-20 Black Capuchins. The size of the pack depends heavily on the abundance of food in an area. When food is limited, the monkeys split into smaller troops. Listen carefully for a high-pitched scream, signaling members of the group to gather. Take note of how diverse the facial expressions of Black Capuchins are! They’re very expressive, and their looks are reminiscent of humans.

Black Capuchins groom each other to bond, focusing on body parts their partners can’t reach alone. They can be aggressive as a species. Occasionally, males kill rivals’ children to protect their position as the alpha. Meanwhile, females compete with younger capuchins for control over food sources.


#2. Brown Howler Monkey

  • Alouatta guariba

Also known as the Brown Howler.

species of monkeys in argentina

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 45-56 cm (18-22 in) long, and their tails are 51-60 cm (20-24 in) long.
  • They have auburn fur, with swaths of black on their arms and beards.
  • They have hairless, black faces and large jaws.

Brown Howler Monkeys in Argentina feed on fruits, flowers, and leaves.

A typical group consists of one male and up to ten females. They’re likely announcing their territories to rival groups nearby if you hear their bark-like howls.

Brown Howler Monkeys have an effective strategy to evade birds of prey. Once an individual spots a circling eagle, it will immediately alert the rest of the group to fall silent. Then, they climb down into the understory, with adult howlers leading young ones. 

Brown Howler Monkeys spend most of their days resting. You might think they’re lazy, but they actually do this to conserve energy before hunting again. Unfortunately, they are especially vulnerable to yellow fever, a virus spread by mosquitoes. Mass deaths often indicate an outbreak of this disease, which is worsened because of their proximity to one another. 


#3. Azara’s Night Monkey

  • Aotus azarae

Also known as the Southern Night Monkey.

common monkeys in argentina

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow 24-37 cm (9-15 in) long, with tails of similar length.
  • They have notably large, reddish eyes with small pupils.
  • The white patches of fur surrounding their chins and eyes look like a mask.
  • They are grayish-brown all over, though the hairs on their bellies are yellow-orange.

The Azara’s Night Monkey feeds on fruits, flowers, and insects. As a nocturnal species, it enjoys less competition from other animals when it forages for food in the dark. You’ll find this monkey in Argentina most active during full moon nights, leaping across tree branches in forests.

Azara’s Night Monkeys are monogamous. Once a pair bonds, they usually stay together for the rest of their lives. A typical family unit has 3-4 members: an adult couple plus a child or two. Newborns cling to their mothers at first but will spend more time with their fathers after three weeks. During the daytime, these monkeys sleep in groups inside the hollows of trees.

Interestingly, these primates play an important role in the field of medicine. For example, researchers have studied Azara’s Night Monkeys populations to understand how infectious diseases such as malaria are passed between individuals.


#4. Azara’s Capuchin

  • Sapajus cay

Also known as the Hooded Capuchin.

monkeys in argentina

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Their bodies are about 37 cm (15 in) long. They also have thick tails reaching a length of 43 cm (17 in).
  • You’ll notice the two tufts of fur on their heads pointing upward.
  • Their body fur is a mix of different shades of brown. Their limbs and tail tips are darker in contrast.

Azara’s Capuchins are well-adapted to the humidity of Argentina’s tropical forests. Sadly, these primates are constantly threatened by encroaching farmlands and urban developments. They are also frequently captured to be kept as pets.

 If you see an Azara’s Capuchin on the ground, it’s most likely male. This is because they spend time foraging there, while females prefer staying in the canopy. These monkeys commonly feed on fruits and seeds, but they also have a taste for various insects. Cleverly, these monkeys break open hard-shelled fruits by hitting them against tree branches.

Keep an eye out for the alpha male if you spot a group of Azara’s Capuchins! It is the largest member of its community, with a fierce temperament to boot. The alpha male acts as the protector of up to 44 other individuals.


#5. Black-and-gold Howler Monkey

  • Alouatta caraya

Also known as the Paraguayan Howler or Black Howler.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 50-65 cm (20-26 in) long, with tails that can reach 76 cm (30 in).
  • They have large ears and thick beards.
  • Males are larger and have black coats of hair, while females have blonde coats.

A male Black-and-gold Howler Monkey leads a group of multiple females and their juvenile offspring. These monkeys thrive in a wide range of environments, with big populations living near human settlements. Sadly, hunting and rapid urbanization constantly threaten this monkey in Argentina.

Black-and-gold Howler Monkeys have specialized digestive systems for leaves, fruits, tree bark, and flowers. Because leaves don’t supply many calories, these monkeys spend up to 70% of their time resting to conserve energy. Sometimes, they climb down to watering holes to drink, but their diet covers most of their fluid requirements.

Just before the sun comes up, you might hear Black-and-gold Howler Monkeys howling in unison to mark their feeding grounds. This practice prevents disputes between rivaling troops. Individuals may also claim trees by smearing branches with their dung. Nasty, but effective!


For more information about animals in Argentina, check out these guides:



Which of these monkeys in Argentina is your favorite?


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