Angolan talapoin

Miopithecus talapoin

SUBFAMILY

Cercopithecinae

TRIBE

Cercopithecini TAXONOMY

Miopithecus talapoin (Schreber, 1774), Angola. It has been customary to recognize only a single species in the genus Miopithecus talapoin, but the population in Cameroon (south of the River Sanaga), Río Muni and Gabon can be distinguished as a separate species, Miopithecus ogouensis.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Angolan dwarf guenon; French: Talapoin d'Angola; German: Zwergmeerkatze.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Talapoins are the smallest Old World monkeys and almost certainly evolved from a larger-bodied ancestor by dwarfing. The fur is coarsely banded yellow-and-black dorsally and white or grayish white ventrally. The nose is back and the skin bordering the face is also black. In males, the scrotum is colored pink medially and blue laterally. There is mild sexual dimorphism in body size. Average head and body length: 16 in (40

cm); average tail length: 21 in (52.5 cm). Body mass: 3 lb 1 oz (1380 g) for males and 2 1b 10 oz (1120 g) for females.

DISTRIBUTION

Equatorial West Africa in western Democratic Republic of the Congo and the coastal region of Angola.

HABITAT

Occur in both primary and secondary gallery, mangrove, and swamp forests.

BEHAVIOR

Diurnal and predominantly arboreal, although they may occasionally descend to the ground while foraging. Talapoins are good swimmers and commonly sleep on branches overhanging rivers so that they can dive to escape from predators. Live in multimale groups usually of moderate size, but that can reach 100 or more individuals.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Diet consists of approximately equal proportions of fruits and animal prey, including various arthropods (mainly insects), small vertebrates, and eggs.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Polygamous. Single births are typical. Females have a prominent sexual swelling that varies in size and coloration across the cycle. Gestation period 162 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not currently regarded as threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Occasionally hunted as a source of bushmeat, although the small body size makes this relatively unprofitable. ♦

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