Variegated Spider Monkey

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Primates Atelidae Ateles Ateles hybridus
IUCN Status: Critically-Endangered
  • Common Name: Variegated Spider Monkey
  • Taxonomy Classification Year: 1829
  • Monkey Size: 45 to 50 cm (17.72 to 19.69 in)
  • Skin Color(s): Light brown to dark
  • Habitat: Rainforest
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Native Countries: Colombia, Venezuela

Variegated Spider Monkey Distribution

Variegated Spider Monkey Characteristics

The Variegated spider monkey[1] or brown spider monkey (Ateles hybridus) is an endangered species of spider monkey, a species of New World Monkey endemic to the forests of northwestern Venezuela and northern Colombia.

  • The variegated spider monkey is similar in appearance to other spider monkey species. However, as their common name suggests, spider monkeys have unusually long and spindly limbs.
  • Their front legs are longer than their hind legs, and their intermembrane index is around 105. They also have a long, slender prehensile tail that acts almost like a fifth limb.
  • These traits make them very suspensory, allowing them to forage and travel easily in the high canopy.
  • The tail length is about 75 cm (30 in), and it is very flexible and hairless distally, with rough skin for a better grip. The hands are hook-shaped with 4 elongated, curved fingers.
  • The thumb is reduced, which makes it easier to swing and grasp branches, an adaptation to its strictly arboreal lifestyle.
  • Spider monkeys are the largest of all New World primates, an adult male brown spider monkey weighs between 7.9 and 9.1 kg, and an adult female weighs between 7.5 and 9 kg.
  • The average body length of an adult human being is around 50 cm. Its coloring varies from light brown to dark brown on the upper parts, including the head.
  • The inside of the legs, arms, and tail are a lighter, bolder color. Another distinctive feature of this species is the white triangular patch on the forehead, but not all individuals have this distinctive feature.
  • Some individuals also have light blue eyes, usually light brown.

Variegated Spider Monkey Facts

  • Although the Variegated spider monkey spends most of its time high up in the trees, it sometimes descends to eat dirt and drink water.
  • These spider monkeys move in small groups and, instead of walking or running on all fours, move mainly by swinging and climbing through trees.
  • The brown spider monkey forages primarily in the treetops, relying primarily on its senses of sight, smell, taste, and touch for sustenance.
  • The variegated spider monkey is a very social diurnal species that lives in groups with several males and females.
  • These monkeys often use a variety of calls to stay in contact with each other and to locate other subgroups. For example, they use so-called whinnies, mostly loud calls that give information about the location and identity of the sender. Still, they also use “ts chookis“, whoops, moans and cries.

Suggested Reading: Different Monkey Species

Cite This Page

APA7MLA8Chicago (2023, November 29). Variegated Spider Monkey. Bio Explorer. "Variegated Spider Monkey" Bio Explorer, 29 November 2023, "Variegated Spider Monkey" Bio Explorer, November 29 2023.
Key References
  • [1]“ADW: Ateles hybridus: INFORMATION”. Accessed December 21, 2022. Link.


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