Spix's Red-handed Howler

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Primates Atelidae Alouatta Alouatta discolor
IUCN Status: Vulnerable
  • Common Name: Spix’s Howler
  • Taxonomy Classification Year: 1823
  • Monkey Size: 40.0 to 91.5 cm (15.75 to 36.02 in)
  • Skin Color(s): Yellowish-brown to reddish-brown
  • Habitat: Forest, rainforest
  • Diet: Herbivorous
  • Native Countries: Brazil

Spix’s Howler Distribution

Spix’s Red-handed Howler Characteristics

Spix’s red-handed howler[1] (Alouatta discolor) is a species of howler monkey endemic to the southeastern Amazon in Brazil.

  • As the name suggests, Spix’s red-handed howler monkeys have hands (and feet) that lack the same inky black, reddish, or yellowish-brown fur that covers the rest of their bodies.
  • They have a thick, prehensile tail, a patch of bare skin on the tip, coarse, shaggy hair, and a deep jaw surrounding an enlarged larynx and hyoid bone.
  • All species of Alouatta have a schizodactylous or zygodactylous grip, which means that their first two digits are opposite the other three.

Spix’s Red-Handed Howler Facts

  • The primary food sources of this species are ripe and unripe fruits. Of all the species in this genus, Spix’s red-handed howler is the most dependent on this food source.
  • They typically travel in groups of 4 to 11 individuals and have relatively small home ranges of 5 to 45 ha.
  • Spix’s Red-headed Howler is currently on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Endangered Species List based on a population decline of more than 30% over the last 3 generations, mainly due to habitat loss.
  • The enlarged larynx and hyoid bone are highly specialized, helping them produce their infamous growls, howls, barks, and roars.
  • Alouatta species are also the only New World Monkey genus to have full trichromatic vision, allowing them to perceive the world across the spectrum of visible light.

Suggested Reading: Types of Monkeys

Cite This Page

BioExplorer.net. (2023, November 28). Spix’s Red-handed Howler. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/spixs-red-handed-howler/.
BioExplorer.net. "Spix’s Red-handed Howler" Bio Explorer, 28 November 2023, https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/spixs-red-handed-howler/.
BioExplorer.net. "Spix’s Red-handed Howler" Bio Explorer, November 28 2023. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/spixs-red-handed-howler/.
Key References
  • [1]“Alouatta discolor – Spix’s Red-handed Howler Monkey | eMammal”. Accessed December 21, 2022. Link.


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