Zaire Diana Monkey (Cercopithecus salongo)

This species has cheek pouches to carry food in while it forages. The dental formula of the Zaire Diana monkey is 2:1:2:3 on both the upper and lower jaws (Ankel-Simons, 2000). The first upper incisors are smaller and narrower as compared to other guenons (Kuroda et al., 1985). The ventral side, inside of thighs, and the perianal region are creamy to white in coloration (Sarmiento, 1999-2000). The dorsal side of the body of this species is chestnut gray (Sarmiento, 1999-2000). The dorsal side of the hands and feet are black (Sarmiento, 1999-2000). The face of this species is triangular in shape and black in color outlined in a white forehead band, white to creamy white whiskers and a white beard (Kuroda et al., 1985). The male's beard projects for a short distance from the chin, and the female's does not (Kuroda et al., 1985). The cheek and the throat are white (Kuroda et al., 1985). The tail is a dirty white color having a gray mid-dorsal line having a black inverted V at the root (Sarmiento, 1999-2000). The tip of the tail is black and the hairs are longer than on other parts of the tail (Kuroda et al., 1985). The teats are pink in coloration (Kuroda et al., 1985). The male has a light blue colored scrotum (Kuroda et al., 1985). The skin around the anus is flesh colored and contains no hair (Kuroda et al., 1985). Adult males have a body mass around 3 kilograms and adult females have a body mass of around 2.25 kilograms (Kuroda et al., 1985).

There is a controversy as to whether this is a valid species. Colyn et al. (1991) suggests that the Zaire Diana monkey is really the adult form of the dryad monkey Cercopithecus dryas.

The Zaire Diana monkey is found in the country of Zaire. This species lives in the thickets of secondary forests and swamp forests (Kuroda et al., 1985).

The Zaire Diana monkey is a frugivorous species that supplements the diet with young leaves and herbal shoots (Kuroda et al., 1985). This species will descend to the ground to feed on such foods as the fruits of African ginger and Marantaceae herbs (Kuroda et al., 1985). This is a diurnal species. Group sizes for the Zaire Diana monkey range from 2 to 15 individuals (Kuroda et al., 1985).

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

The Zaire Diana monkey has a unimale social group that occasionally has extra-group males. Male competition is high when there are extra-group males. Only one male gets to copulate with all of the females. This species has a polygynous mating system.

boom calls: These calls are performed by male Zaire Diana 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).


staring: This display by the Zaire Diana 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 Zaire Diana 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).

social grooming: This is when one individual will groom another, removing dead skin and parasites.

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

presenting: This behavior is performed 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).

Ankel-Simons, F. 2000. Primate Anatomy. Academic Press: San Diego.

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

Colyn, M., Gautier-Hion, A., and van den Audenaerde, T. 1991. Cercopithecus dryas Schwarz 1932 and C. salongo Thys van den Audenaerde 1977 are the same species with an age-related coat pattern. Folia Primatologica. Vol. 56, 167-170.

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. 1977. Communication in Old World Monkeys. In Sebeok 1977.

Kuroda, S., Kano, T., and Muhindo, K. 1985. Further information on the new monkey species, Cercopithecus salongo Thys Van Den Audenaerde, 1977. Primates. Vol. 26(3), 325-333.

Sarmiento, E. 1999-2000. The taxonomic status of Cercopithecus dryas and Cercopithecus salongo. African Primates. Vol. 4(1&2), 65-66.

Last Updated: January 29, 2004.
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