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

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BioExplorer.net. (2022, August 12). Andean Night Monkey. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/andean-night-monkey/.
BioExplorer.net. "Andean Night Monkey" Bio Explorer, 12 August 2022, https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/andean-night-monkey/.
BioExplorer.net. "Andean Night Monkey" Bio Explorer, August 12 2022. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/andean-night-monkey/.
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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