Mona Monkey (Cercopithecus mona)

This species has cheek pouches to carry food in while it forages. The average body mass for an adult male Mona monkey is around 4.4 kilograms, and for the females it is around 2.5 kilograms.

The Mona monkey is found in the countries of Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Uganda, and Zaire. This species is found in a wide variety of forest types and can live near human habitation.

The Mona monkey is a frugivorous species, but it does also eat insects, leaves, and shoots. This species is diurnal and is both arboreal and terrestrial. The social group forages as a single group.

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

The Mona monkey has a unimale social system with a polygynous mating system. Occasionally males try to over-take the resident male, but this does not always lead to a success. The males disperse from their natal groups in this species.

boom calls: These calls are performed by male Mona monkeys (Estes, 1991). This call is low in frequency and is a short tonal call (Estes, 1991). The resonance is enhanced by air sacs to carry the distance further (Gautier and Gautier-Hion, 1977). This is used to communicate territoriality (Estes, 1991).

hack calls: These calls are given by the adult male of the troop (Estes, 1991). This call is given as a response to a disturbance such as another troop and is also used to restore intertroop spacing (Estes, 1991).


staring: This display by the Mona 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 Mona monkey and head bobs up and down (Estes, 1991). This often occurs with staring with open mouth (Estes, 1991).

fear grimace: The lips are retracted so that the teeth are shown; the teeth are clenched together (Estes, 1991). This display functions as an appeasement signal to reduce aggression in aggressive encounters (Estes, 1991).

yawning: This is where the mouth is opened to reveal the canines, and is performed by the adult male (Estes, 1991). This is used as an expression of tension or as a threat display (Estes, 1991).


The Mona monkey gives birth to a single offspring. Females are the ones who solicit copulation from the male (Estes, 1991).

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).

pouting: Females do this during copulation while looking over their shoulder at the male (Estes, 1991). The lower lip is extruded forward while the lips remain closed (Estes, 1991).

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

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

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

Last Updated: October 6, 2003.
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