Andean Night Monkey

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Primates Aotidae Aotus Aotus miconax
Andean Night Monkey
IUCN Status: Endangered
  • Common Name: Andean Night Monkey
  • Taxonomy Classification Year: 1927
  • Monkey Size: 50 to 50 cm (20 to 20 inches)
  • Skin Color(s): Gray, Orange
  • Habitat: Andean cloud forests, Mountains
  • Diet: Frugivorous
  • Native Countries: Peru

Andean Night Monkey Distribution

Andean Night Monkey Characteristics

Andean Night Monkey
Image: Wikimedia

Andean night monkeys[1] are a genus Aotus, commonly known as nocturnal monkeys. Species in this genus are the only truly nocturnal monkeys in the world.

  • At first glance, you might assume that an Andean night monkey is a prosimian, more at home in the Madagascan tropics than in the cloud forests of the Andes.
  • However, the large eyes and small size of this Peruvian night monkey – traits seen in several prosimians – are evolutionary adaptations that allow them to exploit their nocturnal niche without being a primary target for the many nocturnal predators with which they share a common living space.
  • ‘Aotus’ means ‘without ears’, which may seem wrong at first glance as its small ears are not immediately visible in the thick fur surrounding its head.
  • Their round faces feature a striking black and white pattern framing their large brown eyes.
  • Andean night monkeys’ tiny bodies are predominantly grey, with a large rust-orange patch occupying their entire abdomen and inner arms.
  • Their long tails help them balance when climbing through the canopy, while the padded, claw-like toes help them grab branches.

Andean Night Monkey Facts

Andean Night Monkey (Aotus miconax)
Image: Flickr
  • Andean night monkeys are not sexually dimorphic as males and females look very similar.
  • The Peruvian night monkey is monogamous and, like other Aotus species, lives in small family groups of 2-6 individuals.
  • The species is one of the lesser-known and possibly the rarest Neotropical primates. This species is classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN and Critically Endangered under Peruvian law[2].
  • They use scent glands in their necks and at the base of their tails to mark their surroundings and communicate with other squadmates.
  • As their name suggests, Andean night monkeys are nocturnal, with their most active time at the beginning of the night.

Suggested Reading: All Monkey Species

Cite This Page

APA7MLA8Chicago (2023, March 22). Andean Night Monkey. Bio Explorer. "Andean Night Monkey" Bio Explorer, 22 March 2023, "Andean Night Monkey" Bio Explorer, March 22 2023.
Key References
  • [1]“Notes on the Natural History, Distribution and Conservation Status of the Andean Night Monkey, Aotus miconax Thomas, 1927”. Accessed July 31, 2022. Link.
  • [2]“Conservation Categories of Peruvian Primates – Categorias de Conservación de los Primates Peruanos”. Accessed July 31, 2022. Link.


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