Red-faced Spider Monkey

The Red-faced Spider Monkey, Guiana Spider Monkey, or Red-faced Black Spider Monkey, Ateles paniscus, is a species of spider monkey found in northern South America.


The head-body length of the Red-faced Spider Monkey is 40-50 cm (female) and 45 cm (male). The tail length is 80-88 cm (female) and 82 cm (male). Weight is approx. 7.0 kg. The black spider monkey is characterized by a glossy black coat, a black face, and sometimes a pink muzzle.

Spider monkeys, in general, have prehensile (capable of grasping) tails. Their fingers and limbs are long, agile and strong. There is no other monkey that can rival the strength of the spider monkey's tail or the length of their limbs.


The Red-faced Spider Monkey feeds on a variety of foods and would be considered an omnivore. It will eat termites and grubs but also feeds on supple leaves, flowers, berries, and fruit. In zoos worldwide, they specifically like oak leaves, cabbage, and lettuce leaves.

Typically, these monkeys will live in big territorial groups that can cover 370-570 acres of land. Sub-groupings will branch out and forage for food. At dusk they will re-congregate using a greeting call as a means of communication. At night they will often sleep in large groups called bands. Bands typically consist of several females, with their respective young, along with a few males for protection.

It lives in groups of about 20 individuals, splitting into small units of 2 to 5 when foraging.

The life cycle of the spider monkey consists of gestation (7-8 months), 6-11 years before sexual maturity, and an overall life span of up to 30 years.

The Red-faced Spider Monkey gets along well with the Black-handed Spider Monkey, a similar species. It also has been known to get along well with Cotton-top Tamarins as a playmate.


The Red-faced Spider Monkey is found from Brazil to Guyana and French Guiana. The Red-faced Spider Monkey is protected only in the Amazon under the Amazon Animal Protection Act of 1973, and is listed by the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable.



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