Mantled guereza

Colobus guereza

SUBFAMILY

Colobinae

TAXONOMY

Colobus guereza Ruppell, 1835, Ethiopia. The genus Colobus originally contained all colobus monkeys, but it is now restricted to the black-and-white colobus monkeys, some of which are known as guerezas. Eight subspecies of the mantled guereza can be recognized.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Mantled black-and-white colobus; French: Guereza; German: Guereza.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Fur black dorsally and ventrally, with a starkly contrasting U-shaped mantle of white fur descending from the shoulders and running across the lower back. The face is black and framed with a fringe of white hair. The end of the tail is white, with the length of the white region varying between subspecies. There is moderate sexual dimorphism in body size. Head and body length: 24.5 in (61.5 cm) for males and 23 in (57.5 cm) for females; tail length: 26.5 in (66.5 cm) for males and 27.5 in (68.5 cm) for females. Body mass: 29 lb 12 oz (13.5 kg) for males and 20 lb 5 oz (9.2 kg) for females.

I Procolobus verus

I Colobus guereza I Piliocolobus badius

DISTRIBUTION

Extensive range from Nigeria and Cameroon in the west, eastwards through the northern Democratic Republic of Congo into southern Sudan and Ethiopia, western Uganda and isolated areas in Kenya and northern Tanzania.

HABITAT

Inhabits primary and secondary rainforest, gallery forest and wooded grassland, including some forested areas with a prolonged dry season.

BEHAVIOR

Diurnal and arboreal. Typically live in relatively small one-male social groups containing less than a dozen individuals, but some multimale groups have been reported. Groups show conspicuous territorial behavior. Males migrate from the natal group on reaching maturity.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Primarily eats leaves, but supplements its diet with fruits. Diet includes a large proportion of mature leaves, and there is commonly heavy concentration on a few tree species as sources of leaves.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Polygynous. Births are typically single and occur year-round. Young infants are commonly passed around among females other than the mother, and also carried by them, even quite soon after birth. This species has been little studied in captivity, so basic reproductive features such as the gestation period remain unknown.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS Frequently hunted for bushmeat. ♦

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