Moustached Monkey (Cercopithecus cephus)

The average body mass for an adult male moustached monkey is around 4 kilograms, and for the females it is around 3 kilograms. They have side burns that are white in color. This species has cheek pouches to carry food in will it forages.

The moustached monkey is found in the countries of Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Zaire. This species inhabits a variety of habitats including: primary rainforests, secondary rainforests, and gallery forests.

The moustached monkey is primarily a frugivorous species, but also consumes seeds, leaves, arthropods, eggs, and fledglings. Group sizes range from 4 to 35 individuals. This species is arboreal and diurnal.

The moustached monkey moves through the forest quadrupedally (Fleagle, 1988).

In this species there are two kinds of groups, one with one adult male and a number of females and another comprised only of males (Cords, 1987), although sometimes a one-male group might have more males for a short period of time. This species forms mixed-species associations with Cercopithecus nictitans and Cercopithecus mona (Gautier and Gautier-Hion, 1969).

trill: These calls are soft and oscillating that descend in pitch, and are emitted by subadults when approached by an adult (Estes, 1991). This call functions to communicate submissiveness (Estes, 1991).


staring: This display by the moustached monkey is used as a threat display (Estes, 1991). The eyes are fixed on the stimulus and the eyebrows are raised and the scalp is retracted, the facial skin is also stretched by moving the ears back (Estes, 1991). Underneath the eye lids the color is different which contrasts sharply with the surrounding facial color (Estes, 1991)

staring with open mouth: This is the stare accompanied by the mouth being open but the teeth are covered (Estes, 1991). This is a threat expression and often occurs with head-bobbing (Estes, 1991).

head-bobbing: This is used as a threat display by the moustached monkey and head bobs up and down (Estes, 1991). This often occurs with staring with open mouth (Estes, 1991).

nose-to-nose greeting: This is when two moustached monkeys will approach each other and touch the muzzles together (Estes, 1991). This behavior is a greeting behavioral pattern and usually precedes play or grooming (Estes, 1991).

The moustached monkey gives birth to a single offspring.

presenting: This behavior is preformed by the female to elicit copulation from the male; this pattern tells the male that she is ready for copulation (Estes, 1991).

Burton, Frances. 1995. The Multimedia Guide to the Non-human Primates. Prentice-Hall Canada Inc.

Cords, M. 1987. Forest Guenons and Patas Monkeys: Male-Male Competition in One-Male Groups. In Primate Societies. Eds. B.B. Smuts, D.L. Cheney, R.M. Seyfarth, R.W. Wrangham, and T.T. Struhsaker. University of Chicago Press.

Estes, R.D. 1991. The Behavior Guide to African Mammals. University of California Press.

Fleagle, John G. 1988. Primate Adaptation and Evolution. Academic Press.

Gautier, J.P. and Gautier-Hion, A. 1969. Les Associations Polyspecifiques chez les Cercopithecidae du Gabon. Terre et Vie, Vol. 23, 164-201.

Last Updated: October 6, 2003.
[The Primata] [Primate Fact Sheets] [Subfamily Cercopithecinae] [Cercopithecus Links]