7 Different Types of Spider Monkeys

Types of Spider Monkeys
Photo by TheOtherKev

There are seven types of spider monkeys, most of which weigh about 10 kilograms (about 20 pounds).

They are gregarious animals that gather in groups and communicate by making vocalizations, embracing, and gripping each other by the tail.

In the same manner, as other atelines, they are located in the tropical woods of Central and South America, ranging from the southern tip of Mexico to Brazil.

The genus comprises seven species, all at risk of extinction; the brown spider monkey is in a particularly precarious situation.

They are especially famous due to the ease with which they can reproduce when kept in captivity.

Because of their disproportionately long limbs and long, prehensile tails, spider monkeys are among the largest New World monkeys. This fact is where their popular name originates from.

Different types of Spider monkeys thrive at the uppermost levels of the rainforest, and they seek food in the high canopy, which can be up to 25 meters high (82 to 98 ft).

Most of their diet consists of fruits, although they occasionally eat foliage, flowers, and insects.

Because of their great size, spider monkeys require extensive areas of moist evergreen forests, and they favor primary rainforest environments that have not been altered.

They are sociable animals and reside in bands consisting of up to 35 individuals. However, during the day, they will separate to seek food. Here are the seven species of spider monkeys; we hope you enjoy this list. Let us dive in!

1. Red-faced Spider Monkey

Northern South American rain forests are home to a species of spider monkey called the red-faced spider monkey (Ateles paniscus), commonly referred to as the Guiana spider monkey or red-faced black spider monkey.

Because of concerns about hunting and habitat loss, the IUCN has classed this species as Vulnerable.

The types of spider monkeys have long, black hair, a naked red or pink face, and a few short, white hairs. Infants are born with dark skin that lightens with age.

Males have an average head-body length of 55.7 centimeters, while females have a length of 55.2 cm. The male weighs approximately 9.1 kg, while the female weighs about 8.4 kg.

The tail is prehensile (able to grip), and the fingers and limbs are long, nimble, and powerful. The red-faced spider monkey lives in a fission-fusion community, associating with huge groups of up to 30 people at night but spending the day traveling.

At night, they frequently sleep in big groups known as bands. Bands consist of numerous females with their young, as well as a few males for protection.

The red-faced spider monkey is an omnivore since it eats various foods. It feeds on pliable leaves, flowers, ripe seeds, root tips, fungus, berries, and fruit, as well as termites and grubs. They might also eat honey, decomposing wood, or tree bark.

The red-faced spider monkey prefers undisturbed primary rainforests in northern Brazil, Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana, and Venezuela.

It lives in the higher layers of rainforest trees and forages in the high canopy due to its ability to climb and jump.

2. White-bellied Spider Monkey

The second mention on our list concerning types of spider monkeys is an endangered species of spider monkey known scientifically as Ateles Belzebuth, or white-bellied spider.

These types of spider monkeys reach sexual maturity between the ages of 4 and 5. White-bellied spider monkey females typically only give birth to a single kid, although there have been reports of females giving birth to twins.

The white-bellied spider monkey is a generalist frugivore, which means that it does not have a preference for one particular kind of fruit over any other.

However, it does seem to favor fruits with a high lipid and sugar content or fruits produced by trees with high fruit productivity.

They will also ingest other parts of plants, including leaves, flowers, and bulbs, and will very infrequently take in insects of any size.

3. Peruvian Spider Monkey

Ateles chamek, sometimes referred to as the black-faced black spider monkey or Peruvian spider monkey, is a species of a spider monkey that also inhabits Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru.

They are quite large among the monkey species, measuring 60 centimeters (two feet) in length, and their powerful, prehensile tails can grow to be as long as one meter (three feet).

In the wild, these types of spider monkeys exist in groups of 20–30 members. However, members of the same group are rarely seen together at the same time.

The amount of available food and the level of social behavior both influence the size of the emerging subgroups and their dynamics.

They prefer eating fleshy fruit, but if there is a lack of ripe fruit in the area, they will adapt their diet. Depending on the availability of other foods, members of this species will also consume tiny animals, insects, and leaves.

When it is time for them to give birth, the females go their separate ways from the band. These ladies live in a core group of regions where resources are abundant during specific times of the year.

The average lifespan of a Peruvian spider monkey is about 20 years, and they become fully independent at about ten months of age.

They spend most of their time in lowland forests, where they inhabit both the canopy and the sub-canopy.

However, they can thrive in various habitats, including dry and mountainous locations like the piedmont and cerrado woods, and they also travel depending on food availability.

4. Brown Spider Monkey

The brown spider monkey, also known as the variegated spider monkey (Ateles hybridus), is a species of spider monkey found in the forests of northern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela.

It has long, slim limbs and a long prehensile tail, just like every spider monkey. The brown spider monkey is distinguished from other spider monkeys by its whitish belly and patch on the forehead.

Additionally, the brown spider monkey’s eyes can sometimes be a bluish-gray color, which is quite rare. This species is critically endangered.

The limbs of the brown spider monkey are long and slender, with the forelimbs being longer than the hind limbs.

Their tail, which measures 75 centimeters (30 inches) in length, is flexible, thin, and prehensile and, at times, performs the function of a fifth limb.

The tip of the tail is smooth and hairless, making it extremely flexible, and it features skin grooves that make it easier to grab.

Because of the characteristics these types of spider monkeys possess, they can climb trees at relatively high elevations and hang and swing from one tree to another without frequently needing to return to the ground.

The weight of an adult male is between 7.9 and 9.1 kilograms, while an adult female is between 7.5 and 9 kilograms.

The brown spider monkey does most of its foraging for food in the forest canopy, and it does so primarily by the use of its senses of sight, smell, taste, and touch.

The majority of its diet consists of plants and fruit. Ripe fruit makes up a significant portion of the diet of the brown spider monkey.

However, during the wetter seasons, when fruits are scarce, it switches its diet to consist of leaves, seeds, flowers, bark, honey, rotting wood, and occasionally insects like termites and caterpillars.

5. White-cheeked Spider Monkey

The white-cheeked spider monkey (Ateles marginatus) is a species of spider monkey endemic to Brazil.

As a result of human activities such as planting soybeans, cutting down trees, and building roads, the number of individuals belonging to these types of spider monkeys is diminishing.

People also hunt them for food as a delicacy. Due to these factors, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has determined that the animal’s status in terms of its ability to survive in the wild is “endangered.”

White-cheeked spider monkeys frequently congregate in smaller groups of two to four individuals when foraging for food and relaxing.

It appears that it reaches sexual maturity between the ages of four and five years, at which point it will have one child, following a gestation period that lasts between two hundred twenty-six and two hundred thirty days.

The food of the white-cheeked spider monkey includes fruit, leaves, flowers, aerial roots, bark, decaying wood, honey, and even certain small insects like termites and caterpillars.

The white-cheeked spider monkey resides throughout Central and South America. Seed dispersion for various plant species over their region is one of the significant effects this animal has on the environment in which it lives.

6. Black-headed Spider Monkey

The Ateles fusciceps, or black-headed spider monkey, is a must-mention on our list of different types of spider monkeys.

It is a New World monkey species native to Central and South America. Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama are the three countries where you can find them.

The body of the A. f. fusciceps is black or brown, and the head is brown, except for a small amount of white on its chin.

One of the more prominent New World monkeys is a species known as the black-headed spider monkey. The head and body length (without including the tail) can range anywhere from 39.3 to 53.8 centimeters.

The length of the prehensile tail ranges from 71.0 to 85.5 cm. The average weight of a male is 8.89 kilograms, while the average weight of a girl is 8.8 kilograms.

The black-headed spider monkey lives in trees and is arboreal and active throughout the day. It gets about by climbing and moving along on its back legs.

Because of hunting and human encroachment on the black-headed spider monkey’s range of habitation, the black-headed spider monkey is classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

This is due to an estimated population loss of more than 50 percent for the next 45 years (2018-2063).
Black-headed spider monkeys kept in captivity can survive for more than 24 years.

7. Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey

Coming last on our compilation of types of spider monkeys is Geoffroy’s spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), sometimes known as the black-handed spider monkey or the Central American spider monkey.

It is a species of spider monkey native to Central America, portions of Mexico, and maybe a small portion of Colombia. There are five distinct subspecies.

They can weigh as much as 9 kilograms, making them one of the largest monkeys native to the New World (20 lb).

Its arms are noticeably longer than its legs, and its prehensile tail, which can support the monkey’s entire weight and act as an additional limb, is much longer than both.

It has only a partial thumb on each hand, but its fingers are extremely long, powerful, and hooked. Because of these modifications, the monkey can move by dangling itself from its arms while passing beneath tree branches.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies it as an endangered species due to the destruction of its natural habitat, excessive hunting, and pet trade.

Geoffroy’s spider monkey inhabits a variety of forest types, including rainforests, semideciduous forests, and mangrove forests, among others.

Evergreen forests are the typical habitat of Geoffroy’s spider monkeys, which results in higher population densities in specific locations.

The Geoffroy’s spider monkey is primarily found in the forest’s upper canopies and is an arboreal species that is active throughout the day.

The Geoffroy’s spider monkey will occasionally rub its fur with a mixture of its saliva and the ground leaves of the lime tree (Citrus aurantifolia). Experts believe this has an effect similar to that of an insect repellent.

The majority of the Geoffroy’s spider monkey’s diet consists of fruit, particularly ripe and fleshy varieties, The majority of the remainder of its diet consists of leaves.

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