11 COMMON Monkeys Found in Venezuela! (2024)

What kinds of monkeys live in Venezuela?

monkeys in venezuela

If you find yourself visiting Venezuela, 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!

11 monkey species that live in Venezuela:

#1. Brown Weeper Capuchin

  • Cebus brunneus

Also known as the Venezuelan Brown Capuchin.

kinds of monkeys in venezuela
Credit (left image): Naomivaldez15, (right image): Naomivaldez15, via Wikimedia Commons

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 42 cm (16.5 in) long, with a tail length of 44 cm (17.3 in).
  • They have brown fur on their bodies. Their faces are bare, framed with light-colored hair.
  • Look for a patch of dark hair at the top of their heads.

These monkeys in Venezuela are endemic to semi-deciduous forests. Interestingly, Brown Weeper Capuchins help keep forests healthy by pollinating flowers as they feed on nectar. Undigested seeds from the fruits they eat also grow into fruit-bearing trees.

Brown Weeper Capuchins are tree-dwellers. Using their long slender limbs, they travel across branches with remarkable agility. These highly social monkeys groom each other to maintain relationships and eliminate parasites. Look for them in the trees, where they groom and play in large groups.

Like other monkeys, this species can be extremely curious. For example, they occasionally approach people and pets when human settlements overlap with their habitats. However, you should avoid them as much as you can. As wild animals, they can be unpredictable and dangerous if agitated.


#2. Ursine Howler Monkey

  • Alouatta arctoidea

Also known as the Ursine Red Howler and Caracas Howler.

common monkeys in venezuela
Credit (left image): Edoardo Pietro, (right image): Luis Zabala, via Wikimedia Commons

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 45-65 cm (18-26 in) long, and their tails are 55-68 cm (22-27 in).
  • Thick beards surround their hairless faces.
  • They have dark or reddish brown coats, though their tails are lighter at the ends.

Ursine Howler Monkeys in Venezuela inhabit open woodlands. Interestingly, these monkeys consume leaves infested with insects to get their protein. They also eat fruits, nuts, flowers, eggs, and even birds when given a chance! As you might have guessed from their common name, their renowned howls can pierce through thick forests.

Bonded mates often reside within a larger group of Ursine Howler Monkeys. Males from rival groups engage in howling competitions to defend their territories and resources. In addition, females have their own contests to prevent other females from joining their groups.

Ursine Howler Monkeys are not usually aggressive, but these primates are short-tempered in captivity. As a result, they are best suited to natural habitats. In the wild, you can see them using their prehensile tails to support their weight as they travel through the high canopies.


#3. Humboldt’s Squirrel Monkey

  • Saimiri cassiquiarensis

Also known as the Colombian Squirrel Monkey.

species of monkeys in venezuela

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow 25-37 cm (10-15 in), and their tails are 36-45 cm (14-18 in) long.
  • They are gray-haired with black-tipped tails. Their arms and backs have a yellow tinge.
  • The crowns of their heads, as well as their muzzles, are dark in contrast.

They may be small, but this species has strength in numbers! Humboldt’s Squirrel Monkeys in Venezuela gather in groups of 20-50 high up in the trees. Forming large packs gives them protection against predators and rival monkeys. So if you enter their domain, don’t be surprised to hear a wide range of vocalizations and alarm calls.

Using their long tails for balance, Humboldt’s Squirrel Monkeys leap great distances from one branch to another. Their nails help them cling to tree trunks. Additionally, they can run quickly on all fours as they search for food. Fruits are their favorite, but they also eat leaves, shoots, and insects.

Tropical rainforests can get really hot. Fortunately, Humboldt’s Squirrel Monkeys have a strange but clever way to dodge the heat: urinating on their hands! As their excess body heat evaporates the urine, the process helps them cool down.


#4. Long-haired Spider Monkey

  • Ateles hybridus

Also known as the Variegated Spider Monkey or Brown Spider Monkey.

types of monkeys in venezuela

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are approximately 50 cm (20 in) long and have 75 cm (30 in) long tails.
  • They have bare, black faces. Look for a patch of white hair on the top of their heads.
  • Their body hair ranges from dark to light brown, though their bellies are white.

This species is one of the most endangered monkeys in Venezuela.

Long-haired Spider Monkeys have suffered devastating habitat loss from agricultural expansion. As a result, dwindling populations spend their time traveling in small troops, swinging across the canopy. Their excellent eyesight helps them spot food as well as lurking predators.

While they mostly eat fruits, Long-haired Spider Monkeys feed on leaves, honey, and insects, especially during the dry season. To reduce travel, they sleep on trees close to their feeding grounds. You might be surprised to know that these monkeys sometimes eat soil! The dirt is a source of important minerals that the monkeys need to stay healthy.

Habitat loss isn’t the only reason these primates are endangered. Females of this species only produce offspring every 3-4 years because babies need a lot of care before they can live on their own. A newly-born Long-haired Spider Monkey will cling to its mother’s belly for a few months before relocating to her back. After that, it will stay with her for about 18 months until it learns the skills to survive independently.


#5. White-bellied Spider Monkey

  • Ateles belzebuth

Also known as the White-fronted Spider Monkey and Long-haired Spider Monkey.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults can reach a body length of 34-59 cm (13-23 in). Their tails are 65-90 cm (26-35 in) long.
  • As their name implies, they have white-colored bellies.
  • Black and brown hair covers their bodies. In addition, some specimens have a pale patch of hair on their foreheads.

White-bellied Spider Monkeys in Venezuela live in groups of 20-50.

These groups are divided into smaller troops of up to nine for feeding. They occupy wide territories, nesting in trees throughout the rainforest. Feeding mostly on fruits, these primates are effective agents of seed dispersal.

Look at a White-bellied Spider Monkey navigating trees, and you’ll see how it got its name! These agile creatures climb and cling to trees in a spider-like way. But did you know that the tail of this monkey acts as a fifth limb? The bare tip of its tail can grasp branches. It’s also strong enough to support the animal’s entire body weight!

Keep away from their territories! Males on patrol may see you as a threat and attempt to attack. They use their large canine teeth to inflict deep wounds. Ouch!


#6. Guiana Spider Monkey

  • Ateles paniscus

Also known as the Black Spider Monkey, Red-faced Spider Monkey, or Red-faced Black Spider Monkey.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 56 cm (22 in) in length, with long, prehensile tails.
  • Their faces are reddish pink and hairless.
  • They have long, thick black hair covering their bodies.

These long-haired monkeys live in the northern rainforests of Venezuela, far away from human civilization. In daylight, Guiana Spider Monkeys travel and search for food. When night falls, they gather in bands of 20-30 members. A group usually includes several females and their offspring, with a handful of males that act as guards.

Look at the canopy to see Guiana Spider Monkeys swinging from branch to branch. Their lengthy limbs and prehensile tails make them adept at scaling tall trees. They prefer feasting on fruits, but they also eat grubs, termites, and fungi.

Guiana Spider Monkeys sometimes appear to be fighting, but they might be trying to woo each other! Courtship rituals begin with members of the group wrestling, accompanied by growls and deep pants. Once a female has chosen her partner, she will sit on his lap to signal interest.


#7. Weeper Capuchin

  • Cebus olivaceus

Also known as the Guianan Weeper Capuchin or Wedge-capped Capuchin.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 55 cm (22 in) long. Their tails are roughly the same length.
  • Look for a triangular patch of dark fur on the crown of their heads.
  • Their coats are shades of brown, though their faces are framed by blonde fur.

Weeper Capuchins inhabit isolated rainforests in Venezuela.

These primates leap and climb through the canopy with great expertise using their long limbs. They have a balanced diet of fruits, nuts, berries, and insects. Populations along the coast also eat crabs and oysters.

An average group of Weeper Capuchins has 5-30 members: an adult male and several females with children. Grooming is an important activity that strengthens their bonds and hygiene. Baby capuchins are exclusively cared for by their mothers in the first three months. Then, other female adults share this duty in the months that follow.

Weeper Capuchins are quite civilized creatures! Sometimes, they wash their food before eating, ridding it of dirt and sand. Interestingly, to avoid mosquito bites in the rainy season, Weeper Capuchins rub millipedes over their fur as a form of bug repellant.


#8. Colombian Red Howler Monkey

  • Alouatta seniculus

Also known as the Venezuelan Red Howler.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow 46-72 cm (18-28 in) long. Their tails can measure 49-75 cm (19-30 in) in length.
  • They have wide jaws and hairless faces.
  • Reddish-brown hair covers their bodies, though their tails are bare towards the tip.

The Colombian Red Howler Monkey is an arboreal primate that lives among the canopies of Venezuela’s rainforests. Its prehensile tail can grasp branches, supporting the howler as it moves between trees. This monkey’s main diet is leaves supplemented by fruits and flowers.

At dawn, you might hear a chorus of Colombian Red Howler Monkeys howling and roaring in unison. Their racket can be heard from up to 5 kilometers (3.10 miles) away! These performances help establish territories among groups, thereby preventing unnecessary fights.

Colombian Red Howler Monkeys form groups of ten on average. A male leads and defends several females and their offspring. When a howler gives birth, childless females assist the mother in caring for her baby.


#9. Guianan Red Howler Monkey

  • Alouatta macconnelli

Also known as the Guyanan Red Howler.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 48-63 cm (19-25 in) in length, with 52-80 cm (20-31 in) tails.
  • Hair is absent on their black faces. They also have large jaws.
  • They have a reddish brown coat that grows darker on the limbs. Their backs are tinged yellow.

Guianan Red Howler Monkeys in Venezuela prefer rainforests and swamps.

However, you might have difficulty finding them because they stay hidden among the tallest treetops. They’re equipped with prehensile tails to support them as they navigate through the branches.

These primates have sedentary lifestyles, with most days spent resting to conserve energy. Their teeth are primarily designed for chewing fibrous leaves. Other times, they enjoy ripe fruits and flowers. As a result, Guianan Red Howler Monkeys unintentionally scatter seeds after digesting them, making their species vital to maintaining a healthy forest.

A Guianan Red Howler Monkeys group has two to eight members, typically composed of a male howler leading several females and juveniles. They can roar deeply with their large voice boxes. Listen for their howling sessions at daybreak!


#10. White-faced Saki

  • Pithecia pithecia

Also known as the Guianan Saki or Golden-faced Saki.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults can grow 32-40 cm (13-16 in) long. Their tails are similar in length.
  • They have skinny fingers and bushy tails.
  • Males have long, black fur and stark white faces.
  • Females have short, grayish-brown fur and non-distinct faces.

These peculiar-looking primates reside in the lower canopies of Venezuela’s rainforests. White-faced Sakis are most active during the early hours of the day, searching for fruits, nuts, and insects. Sometimes, they will invade tree hollows to prey on roosting bats.

White-faced Sakis take refuge under trees with thick foliage to keep warm and dry. These trees also conceal them from hawks and harpy eagles. If an individual spots a predator, it will alarm the others, who will then quickly echo the call for other nearby sakis.

As a monogamous species, White-faced Sakis bond for life. A typical family unit consists of a pair of sakis and their offspring. They easily swing across tree branches but are much more proficient jumpers. A White-faced Saki can cover a distance of 10 meters (32 feet) with a single leap!


#11. 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 Venezuela. 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 Venezuela, check out these guides:



Which of these monkeys in Venezuela is your favorite?


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