Olive Colobus

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Primates Cercopithecidae Procolobus Procolobus verus
IUCN Status: Vulnerable
  • Common Name: Olive Colobus
  • Taxonomy Classification Year: 1838
  • Monkey Size: 9 to 43 cm (3.54 to 16.93 in)
  • Skin Color(s): Olive
  • Habitat: Rainforest
  • Diet: Herbivorous
  • Native Countries: Sierra Leone, Niger, Nigeria

Olive Colobus Distribution

Olive Colobus Characteristics

The olive colobus[1] (Procolobus verus), also called the Van Beneden’s colobus or green colobus is a primate species in the Cercopithecidae family.

  • Its name in English refers to its opaque olive-colored upper parts.
  • The smallest and darkest of all African colobus monkeys, Procolobus verus, sports olive fur with a brown tint on top and grayish underparts.
  • Weights vary from 2 to 4.5 kg, and body lengths of 9 to 43 cm are reported.
  • Olive colobus monkeys have a body structure similar to black and white colobus monkeys. Still, olive colobus monkeys have a small crest on their heads and the smallest thumbs and largest feet of any colobus.
  • Males are the same size as females, with relatively larger canines than females.

What Do Olive Colobus Eat?

The Olive Colobus feeds on[¶]:

  • Raphia Palm (Raphia africana).
  • Persimmons (Diospyros)
  • African Locust-Bean (Parkia bicolor).
  • Boleko Nut (Ongokea gore).
  • African Nutmeg (Pycnanthus angolensis).
  • Velvet Tamarind (Dialium guineense).
  • Lagos Silkrubbertree (Funtumia africana).
  • Sasswood (Erythrophleum)

What Eats Olive Colobus?

What Eats Olive Colobus Monkeys Chimpanzees?

Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), Crowned eagles (Stephanoaetus coronatus), Leopards (Panthera pardus) and Humans (Homo sapiens) are the primary predators of Olive Colobus monkeys[§].

Olive Colobus Facts

  • It is the smallest specimen of all the Colobine monkeys. It is rarely seen in its natural habitat due to its secretive nature and cryptic coloration.
  • Olive colobus monkeys are found in small groups containing multiple breeding males, multiple females, and their young.
  • The close association with Diana monkeys not only serves to avoid predators but is also a mechanism used by male olive colobus monkeys to obtain new female mates.
  • The mating system of the olive colobus is unique in that, unlike many species that live in small groups, there is no evidence of the monopolization of females by males.
  • The olive colobus monkey is highly vulnerable to habitat loss due to increased encroachment by farmers and hunters into protected and unprotected areas.

Suggested Reading: All Monkey Species

Cite This Page

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BioExplorer.net. (2023, January 31). Olive Colobus. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/olive-colobus/.
BioExplorer.net. "Olive Colobus" Bio Explorer, 31 January 2023, https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/olive-colobus/.
BioExplorer.net. "Olive Colobus" Bio Explorer, January 31 2023. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/olive-colobus/.
Key References
  • [1]“Procolobus verus”. Accessed November 26, 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.
  • [¶] – Seltzer, Carrie; Wysocki, William; Palacios, Melissa; Eickhoff, Anna; Pilla, Hannah; Aungst, Jordan; Mercer, Aaron; Quicho, Jamie; Voss, Neil; Xu, Man; J. Ndangalasi, Henry; C. Lovett, Jon; J. Cordeiro, Norbert (2015): Plant-animal interactions from Africa. figshare. https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1526128. De Boer, W.F. and Ntumi, C.P. and Correia, A.U. and Mafuca, J.M., 2000. Diet and distribution of elephant in the Maputo Elephant Reserve; Mozambique. African Journal of Ecology, 38(3), pp.188-201. https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/2231424
  • [§] – Middleton, O.S, Svensson, H, Scharlemann, J.P.W, Faurby, S, Sandom, C.J. CarniDIET 1.0: A database of terrestrial carnivorous mammal diets. Global Ecology and Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13296. Craig, Christie A., Eleanor I. Brassine, and Daniel M. Parker. “A record of cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) diet in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, Botswana.” African Journal of Ecology 55.4 (2017): 697-700.

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