Scientific Name: Cercopithecus ascanius
Common Name: Redtail Monkey, Schmidt's Guenon
Distribution: Redtail monkeys are found in Africa from
the Central African Republic eastwards through Kenya and south into
Angola and Zambia. Populations are most dense in Uganda
Description: The recognizable markings of adult redtail
monkeys include a black face, bluish skin around the eyes, a white spot on the
nose, and white cheek fur. The name 'redtail' comes from the chestnut-colored
fur on the underside of the tail. The rest of the body is covered with a
speckled brown coat and gray or black limbs, depending on the subspecies.
Difference in Sex: Males are bigger than females. Other
than size differences, males and females of this species are very similar.
Average Weight: 2 to 6 kg
Habitat: Redtail monkeys can live in a rather large
variety of habitats. They are mainly found in the middle canopy of tropical rain
forest habitats. However, they have also been observed in swamp forests,
secondary forests, riverine gallery forest, and other woodlands
Habits: Redtail monkeys tend to be found in
medium-sized groups of 11 to 14 individuals containing one male and a
matrilineal group of females . It is common for several of these troops to
congregate together at food resources or in large trees during resting periods .
Groups of redtail monkeys travel approximately 1.4 km each day in search of
food. Groups defend their home ranges of about 120 hectares primarily through
visual threats and, if necessary, physical combat. The visual communication
system consists of eyebrow raising, facial skin stretching, and head-bobbing .
These signals are commonly used to warn potential predators or unwanted
intruders. Vocal communication consists of birdlike chirps between members of a
group . This form of communication is mainly used socially among members of the
same unit. These associated individuals may also identify one another by
nose-to-nose greeting, in which two individuals press their muzzles together.
After this greeting they will commonly practice reciprocal social grooming or
Allomothering, the sharing of maternal care by other females
of the group other than the infant's mother, has also been observed in redtail
monkey groups, although occasionally the infant is harmed in a fight for
possession of the youth.
Cercopithecus ascanius males, upon reaching sexual maturity,
disperse from the home range and displace other males in different groups or
join all-male wandering bands. After displacement of the tenured male, it is
common for the incumbent male to kill all existing offspring in the group,
thereby making lactating females come into estrous sooner and bear his offspring
Main feeding time: Their main hours of activity
are in the early morning or late evening
Size: the males averaging 4.1 kg and a length of
approximately 46 cm. Redtail monkey females, in contrast, average 2.9 kg and
about 38 cm in length
Number of young at birth: single infant.
Diet: Redtail monkeys are primarily frugivorous, but
supplement their diet with leaves, insects, flowers, buds, and gum
Interesting facts: Redtail monkeys are also one of the
major carriers of yellow fever in Africa