Blackcapped capuchin

Cebus apella

SUBFAMILY

Cebinae

TAXONOMY

Cebus apella (Linnaeus, 1758), French Guiana. Ten subspecies. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Brown or tufted capuchin; French: Sapajou apelle; Spanish: Capuchino de copete.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Fur is dark to light brown on body with underside and shoulders sometimes lighter; hands and feet always black. Adults have two tufts of erect fur on crown of head. Head and body length is 13.8-19.2 in (35-48.8 cm). Tail length is 14.8-19.2 in (37.5-49 cm). Weight is 3-10.6 lb (1.4-4.8 kg).

DISTRIBUTION

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.

HABITAT

Primary and secondary rainforest to semi-deciduous and montane forest up to 8,800 ft (2,700 m).

CONSERVATION STATUS

Widespread and uncommon to locally common. Main pressures on populations include habitat degradation, deforestation, and hunting for food. Listed in Appendix 2 of CITES. One subspecies, Cebus apella robustus, is listed as Endangered by IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Hunted for food and as crop pests, collected and exported for pet and scientific research markets. ♦

BEHAVIOR

Diurnal and arboreal. Multimale-multifemale groups of 8-16 individuals with sex ratio of 1:1. One male is dominant to all group members. Dominant males fight when two groups meet at food trees. Males emigrate from natal group.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Predominantly eat fruit, seeds, nectar pith, and animal prey including insects, frogs, reptiles, birds, bats, and other small mammals.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Polygamous, both sexes mate promiscuously, although dominant male guards estrus females during part of their cycle. Females reach sexual maturity at 4-5 years. Gestation is 149-158 days. Estrus cycle is 18 days. Birth season is October-January. Births are single.

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