12 COMMON Monkeys Found in Bolivia! (2024)

What kinds of monkeys live in Bolivia?

types of monkeys in bolivia

If you find yourself visiting Bolivia, 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!

12 monkey species that live in Bolivia:

#1. Pale Titi

  • Plecturocebus pallescens

Also known as the White-coated Titi.

kinds of monkeys in bolivia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 36 cm (14 in) long, with furry tails that reach 42 cm (17 in).
  • They have large ears and bald faces.
  • Pale blonde and light gray fur cover their entire bodies.

These monkeys in Bolivia enjoy both humid and dry habitats.

They feed on leaves, fruits, and flowers in forested areas. As territorial animals, they will yell at animal trespassers and chase them away. You might spot them leaping across branches with impressive skill.

A family of Pale Titis can have 2-7 members, though it is more common to find an adult pair with a single offspring. The father acts as the primary caretaker for infants. Each Pale Titi couple mates for life, and they show signs of distress if separated from each other. Look for bonded pairs sitting on branches and entwining their tails together.

Around humans, these primates have surprisingly calm dispositions. In fact, you might find it easy to approach Pale Titis! Unfortunately, this means their species are frequently captured and kept as pets.


#2. Black-faced Spider Monkey

  • Ateles chamek

Also known as the Chamek Spider Monkey and Peruvian Spider Monkey.

species of monkeys in bolivia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 70 cm (28 in) in length, with tails that reach 100 cm (39 in).
  • Their bodies, foreheads, and cheeks are covered with thick, black hair.

Black-faced Spider Monkeys in Bolivia live among the canopy of lowland forests, though you might also find them in drier hills. Their favorite food is fruit, but they also eat leaves, insects, and small animals such as frogs and baby birds.

Equipped with prehensile tails and vestigial thumbs, Black-faced Spider Monkeys can expertly swing from branch to branch. Rivers can’t stop them, either! They are strong swimmers, crossing waterways to access other parts of the forest. A family consists of up to 30 individuals. Listen for their grunts and howls as they stay in touch with each other.

Sadly, Black-faced Spider Monkeys are endangered due to habitat destruction and infrequent reproduction. This fascinating primate has had its population decline by 50% in the last 45 years.


#3. Spix’s White-fronted Capuchin

  • Cebus unicolor

common monkeys in bolivia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Their bodies are typically 37 cm (15 in) long, with 42-46 cm (17-18 in) tails.
  • The crowns of their heads are darker than the rest of their fur.
  • Their bodies are pale-colored, but their limbs, backs, and tails are brown or yellowish.

These monkeys in Bolivia thrive in the Amazon River basin.

Despite seasonal flooding and wet weather, Spix’s White-fronted Capuchins can forage entire forests for food, even coming down to search the leaf litter for bugs. Groups include up to 35 individuals, with a dominant male acting as the leader.

When these monkeys sense danger, you’ll hear them barking softly to warn other troop members. Watch your head! Spix’s White-fronted Capuchins will drop branches above a predator’s head to scare it away. If an individual spots a bird of prey, it will let out a loud screech and instruct the rest to descend to the undergrowth silently.

Like some humans, Spix’s White-fronted Capuchins are especially fond of newborns! So when a baby capuchin is introduced to the group, members will examine it for as long as they have permission from its mother.


#4. Toppin’s Titi

  • Plecturocebus toppini

monkeys in bolivia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 25-45 cm (10-18 in) long.
  • They have reddish fur coats. Compared to other Titis, their tails are less fuzzy.
  • A thick mane borders their bare black faces.

These monkeys jump from branch to branch as they chase away intruders trying to steal their fruits. Toppin’s Titis reside close to freshwater sources within the forests of Bolivia. They’re active when the sun is out, but you might find a pair dozing off in the middle of the day. When they sleep, they wrap their tails together in a spiral!

It takes two years for a juvenile Toppin’s Titi to transition into adulthood. Then, after a few more years, it will leave its original group and join a new one. These primates form lifelong relationships with their mate, reproducing throughout their lives as their offspring matures.

During seasons of drought, they climb down to the ground level to forage. Despite being venomous, army ants are their favorite prey! To avoid being bitten, Toppin’s Titis quickly swallow smaller groups of ants. Sometimes, these agile monkeys hang down from branches just above a mound as they “fish” out their prey.


#5. Azara’s Night Monkey

  • Aotus azarae

Also known as the Southern Night Monkey.

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 Bolivia 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.


#6. Black-striped Capuchin

  • Sapajus libidinosus

Also known as the Bearded Capuchin.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 37 cm (15 in) long and have thick tails that can grow to the same length.
  • The hair on the crown of their heads is black. Sideburns frame their hairless faces.
  • They have distinctive golden fur, though their limbs and tails are darker.

Native to Bolivia, Black-striped Capuchins thrive in savannahs and dry forests. They travel great distances each day in search of food. Their varied diets include nuts, insects, and fruits. Unlike most monkeys that stay high up on trees, these capuchins spend more time foraging on the ground.

It might surprise you to know how evolved and intelligent Black-striped Capuchins are! They use tools in their day-to-day life, especially for hunting food. For example, they crack open hard-shelled nuts with rocks and use sticks to dig for roots and tubers. These monkeys also make loud sounds by banging large stones together to scare away predators.

Females pursue males when they’re ready to mate by throwing sticks and stones at them. Males ignore these at first but eventually seek out the behavior. It’s a bit like teenagers teasing those they like. 🙂 Unlike most primates, Black-striped Capuchins sometimes adopt infants that have lost their mothers.


#7. Common Squirrel Monkey

  • Saimiri sciureus

Also known as the South American Squirrel Monkey and Guianan Squirrel Monkey.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are only 25-37 cm (10-15 in) long. Their black-tipped tails are 36-47 cm (14-19 in) in length.
  • They have black muzzles and white, fuzzy ears. White fur encircles their eyes.
  • Their coats are mostly gray, though their limbs and backs have a yellow tint.

Vast populations of Common Squirrel Monkeys live in the rainforests of Bolivia.

They gather in groups of up to 300 members! They frequently mingle with other monkeys, such as capuchins and sakis. Capuchins give off alarm calls that warn squirrel monkeys of nearby predators.

As omnivores, Common Squirrel Monkeys eat fruits, seeds, lizards, and spiders. During mating season, males gain weight and become more aggressive. They don’t assist in child care, which leaves all the parental duties to females. As a species, they’re usually peaceful. When two groups cross paths, they tend to ignore each other instead of engaging in fights.

The exotic pet community has a long history of trading Common Squirrel Monkeys. However, you should avoid participating in this trade. These monkeys have high social needs, which can only be satisfied by socializing with their kind in the wilderness.


#8. Common Woolly Monkey

  • Lagothrix lagothricha

Also known as the Brown Woolly Monkey or Humboldt’s Woolly Monkey.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 40-60 cm (16-24 in) in length, with thick 55-75 cm (22-30 in) tails.
  • Their faces are black and hairless.
  • Their coats are shades of black, gray, and brown. Their heads and undersides are darker in contrast.

You can find Common Woolly Monkeys in Bolivia up in the canopy of the Amazon rainforest. Some travel in pairs, while others gather in groups with as many as 70 members. Impressively, they cover up to 2 km (1.2 mi) per day foraging for food. During flood season, these monkeys enter submerged areas to look for berries.

Common Woolly Monkeys love to eat fruits that are rich in sugar. During periods of scarcity, they settle for leaves, insects, and spiders. New mothers eat protein-rich leaves to boost their milk production. Competition for fruits is high within their communities, so younger monkeys have to rely more on a diet of insects.

Female Common Woolly Monkeys don’t normally interact with other females. They’re incredibly possessive! They will readily harass other females that try to approach their partners. Other than that, they are generally a peaceful species, willing to share food sources with their neighbors.


#9. Azara’s Capuchin

  • Sapajus cay

Also known as the Hooded Capuchin.

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 Bolivia’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.


#10. Black-tailed Marmoset

  • Mico melanurus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults have a body length of 18-28 cm (7-11 in). They have long, black tails.
  • They have large, rounded ears and hairless faces.
  • Their fur coats are light brown, growing darker towards the back.

Black-tailed Marmosets gather in family units of up to six in Bolivia. They don’t like sharing their territories and will chase away other primates that intrude on their sections of the forest. They run along branches or cling onto trunks with their long claws. At night, they retreat into the hollows of trees to rest.

Black-tailed Marmosets may not welcome outsiders, but they’re generous with family. Adults love spending time with their offspring to share food. They mostly eat tree sap, though they’ll also consume fruits and insects. Listen for chirps! This is how they tell their kin that they’ve found food.

Female Black-tailed Marmosets normally give birth to twins. Adorably, all members of the group work together to raise the young. The father often carries his babies around, giving them to the mother when it’s nursing time.


#11. 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 Bolivia.

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!


#12. Brown Capuchin

  • Sapajus apella

Also known as the Tufted Capuchin, Black-capped Capuchin, or Pin Monkey.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 32-57 cm (13-22 in) long. Their tails are 38-56 cm (15-22 in) long.
  • Look for a wig-like tuft of black hair on their heads.
  • They have brownish-gray body fur, but their limbs, tails, and heads are darker in contrast.

To see Brown Capuchins in action, you’ll have to visit the Amazon River basin in Bolivia. These monkeys thrive in both moist and dry forests, forming packs of 8-15 members. A dominant male acts as the leader and protector of the pack. If a pack member finds an abundant food source, it will whistle to let others know its location.

Brown Capuchins are impressively resourceful! After leaving palm nuts to dry for a week, these monkeys will bash them open with large rocks. Additionally, they use sticks to dig ants out of their mounds. Occasionally, they crush and rub these ants on their fur to repel ticks and mosquitoes. They also use big leaves to hold water for drinking.

Brown Capuchins are equipped with prehensile tails, but curiously, they don’t use them much. These tails help control their descent from heights, but they are more comfortable moving with their hands and feet.


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



Which of these monkeys in COUNTRY is your favorite?


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