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

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BioExplorer.net. (2023, January 30). Variegated Spider Monkey. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/variegated-spider-monkey/.
BioExplorer.net. "Variegated Spider Monkey" Bio Explorer, 30 January 2023, https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/variegated-spider-monkey/.
BioExplorer.net. "Variegated Spider Monkey" Bio Explorer, January 30 2023. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/variegated-spider-monkey/.
Key References
  • [1]“ADW: Ateles hybridus: INFORMATION”. Accessed December 21, 2022. Link.

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