Black Headed Spider Monkey

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Primates Atelidae Ateles Ateles fusciceps
Black-headed Spider Monkey
IUCN Status: Endangered
  • Common Name: Black-headed Spider Monkey
  • Taxonomy Classification Year: 1866
  • Monkey Size: 40 to 55 cm (16 to 22 in.)
  • Skin Color(s): Black
  • Habitat: Rainforest
  • Diet: Herbivorous
  • Native Countries: Colombia, Ecuador, Panama

Black-headed Spider Monkey Distribution

Black-Headed Spider Monkey Characteristics

Black Headed Spider Monkey

The black-headed spider monkey[1] is a species of New-World monkey native to Central and South America.

  • They have long, spindly limbs and a prehensile tail used as a 5th limb for swinging between branches while foraging for food.
  • The tail is much longer than his body. The tail measures from 28 to 34 in (70 to 85 cm), while the body varies from 16 to 22 in (40 to 55 cm).
  • Their fur is shaggy and long, typically with a lighter underside. Each eye of Ateles fusciceps is surrounded by a white ring.
  • Their skull is structured to have forward-facing eyes that allow them to accurately measure distances as they swing from one tree to another.
  • Black-headed spider monkey species do not have a thumb, which increases their grip strength and helps them climb.

Black-Headed Spider Monkey Facts

Ateles Fusciceps

  • The species name “Ateles” is derived from the Greek word “ateleia” meaning imperfect or incomplete. It was likely chosen because these monkeys do not have a thumb.
  • They live in a fission-fusion society- that is, the group is divided into smaller units of 2 to 4 individuals, generally a mother and her young. During the day, they disperse foraging, and the entire group comes back together at night.
  • Black-headed spider monkeys can map the forest as they leap from one feeding area to another, so they know the exact fruit-bearing trees.
  • The species are known as “spider monkeys” because they are said to resemble spiders when hanging from a tree by their tails.
  • Black-headed Spider Monkey lives in the Amazon rainforest, where it requires a large area and is thus critically endangered today due to habitat loss.
  • All spider monkeys see in color, a helpful feature for finding and recognizing the ripest fruits, but they cannot see blue.
  • In this monkey species, females sometimes mate with several males; Black-headed Spider Monkey only reproduces every three years.

Suggested Reading: All The Monkeys In The World

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BioExplorer.net. (2022, October 02). Black-Headed Spider Monkey. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/black-headed-spider-monkey/.
BioExplorer.net. "Black-Headed Spider Monkey" Bio Explorer, 02 October 2022, https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/black-headed-spider-monkey/.
BioExplorer.net. "Black-Headed Spider Monkey" Bio Explorer, October 02 2022. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/black-headed-spider-monkey/.
Key References
  • [1]“Spider Monkeys – General Characteristics, The Appearance Of The Four Species, Social Behavior, Diet, In Captivity – Ateles, Tails, Black, and Cebidae – JRank Articles”. Accessed August 11, 2022. Link.

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