Black Spider Monkey

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Primates Atelidae Ateles Ateles paniscus
black spider monkey
IUCN Status: Vulnerable
  • Common Name: black spider monkey
  • Taxonomy Classification Year: 1758
  • Monkey Size: 40 to 60 cm (15.75 to 23.62 in)
  • Skin Color(s): Jet-black
  • Habitat: Forest, rainforest
  • Diet: Herbivorous
  • Native Countries: Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Bolivia

black spider monkey Distribution

Black spider monkey Characteristics

Black Spider Monkey

Ateles paniscus, the black spider monkey[1], is one of three sub-species of spider monkeys.

  • They are found in healthy tropical forests in South and Central America.
  • Black spider monkeys show slight variation in appearance, but males are larger than females.
  • Both females and males have an average weight of 9.11 kg and 8.44 kg, respectively. They have small heads in relation to their bodies.
  • Also, they have long legs and arms and a tail that helps them balance when moving through the treetops.
  • Aside from the face, feet, and hands, they are covered in jet-black hair longer than a typical primate.

What Do Black Spider Monkeys Eat?

Ateles Paniscus

The black spider monkey preys on[¶]:

  • Laurel Espada (Ocotea floribunda).
  • Conejo (Protium tenuifolium)
  • Hogplum (Spondias mombin)
  • Palo De Gallina (Alchorneopsis floribunda).
  • Black Manwood (Minquartia guianensis).
  • Cuero De Rana (Laetia procera).
  • Mata Palos (Ficus amazonica).
  • Icecreambean (Inga edulis)
  • Trichilia (Trichilia)
  • Guiana Brosimum (Brosimum guianense).
  • Fourleaf Buchenavia (Buchenavia tetraphylla).
  • Maripa Palm (Attalea maripa).
  • Jamaican Cherry Fig (Ficus americana).
  • Pacae Colorado (Inga alba)
  • Wild Balata (Micropholis guyanensis)
  • Bulletwood (Manilkara bidentata)
  • Inga Grande (Inga alata)
  • Urucuri Palm (Attalea phalerata)

Black spider monkey Facts

  • Of all the Ateles species, Ateles paniscus is the largest.
  • They prefer pristine (mature) rainforests and rarely venture into disturbed habitats, making them particularly vulnerable to forest fragmentation.
  • Their prehensile tail allows these primates to find stability when perched on branches, reach out for food at the end of brittle branches when suspended, and as a fifth limb to move around dangerous spots.
  • These South-American monkeys spend most of their time in the middle and upper regions of the tree canopy. At night they sleep in groups in the trees for protection.
  • Ateles paniscus initiate courtship by playing and wrestling with members of the opposite sex.

Cite This Page

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BioExplorer.net. (2022, October 01). Black Spider Monkey. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/black-spider-monkey/.
BioExplorer.net. "Black Spider Monkey" Bio Explorer, 01 October 2022, https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/black-spider-monkey/.
BioExplorer.net. "Black Spider Monkey" Bio Explorer, October 01 2022. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/black-spider-monkey/.
Key References
  • [1]“Black spider monkey – Wisconsin National Primate Research Center – UW-Madison”. Accessed August 09, 2022. Link.
  • [¶]– Fricke, E.C., Svenning, J. Accelerating homogenization of the global plant-frugivore meta-network. Nature 585, 74-78 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2640-y.
  • [¶]– fgabriel1891/Palm-Frugivore_Interactions_Neo-AfrotropicsQuiroga-Castro, V. D.; Roldan, A. I.. 2001. The fate of Attalea phalerata (Palmae) seeds dispersed to a tapir latrine. Biotropica. 472-477
  • [¶]– fgabriel1891/Palm-Frugivore_Interactions_Neo-AfrotropicsKahnF. & de GranvilleJ. 1992. Palms in forest ecosystems of Amazonia. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg.

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