Green monkey

Last updated

Green monkey [1]
Gambia06Bijilo0015 (5421078756).jpg
Female with juvenile, Gambia
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Chlorocebus
C. sabaeus
Binomial name
Chlorocebus sabaeus
Chlorocebus sabaeus distribution.svg
Geographic range

The green monkey (Chlorocebus sabaeus), also known as the sabaeus monkey, [3] is an Old World monkey with golden-green fur and pale hands and feet. [4] The tip of the tail is golden yellow as are the backs of the thighs and cheek whiskers. [4] It does not have a distinguishing band of fur on the brow, like other Chlorocebus species, and males have a pale blue scrotum. [4] Some authorities consider this and all of the members of the genus Chlorocebus to be a single widespread species, Chlorocebus aethiops.


Physical description

The green monkey is a sexually dimorphic species, with males typically being slightly larger than females. Wild adult males weigh between 3.9 and 8.0 kg (8.6 and 17.6 lb) and measure between 420 and 600 mm (1.38 and 1.97 ft), while the females usually weigh between 3.4 and 5.3 kg (7.5 and 11.7 lb) and measure between 300 and 495 mm (0.984 and 1.624 ft). [4]

Habitat and distribution

Chlorocebus monkeys can be found in a wide range of wooded habitats, ranging from very dry Sahel woodland to the edge of rainforests. It is also commonly seen in coastal regions, where known to feed on seashore foods such as crabs. [3] It also takes a wide variety of other foods, including fruits and invertebrates. [3]

The green monkey is found in West Africa from Senegal and The Gambia to the Volta River. It has been introduced to the Cape Verde islands off north-western Africa (islands of Santiago and Brava only) as early as the second half of the 16th century, [5] and the West Indian islands of Saint Kitts, Nevis, Saint Martin, and Barbados. [1] It was introduced to the West Indies in the late 17th century when slave trade ships traveled to the Caribbean from West Africa. [4]


As other members of the genus Chlorocebus, the green monkey is highly social and usually seen in groups. They usually live in groups of up to 7 to 80 individuals. Within these groups, there is distinct social hierarchy evidenced by grooming behaviors and gender relationships.

Green monkeys are known to communicate both verbally and non-verbally. They have distinct calls which they use to warn others in the group of predators, and even have specific calls for specific predators. Body language, such as the display of brightly colored genitalia is also used to communicate danger, but can also be used as a way of establishing dominance. It has also been documented that green monkeys may use facial expressions to express their emotional state. [6]


Green monkeys live in a polygynous society, revolving around the alpha males. The alpha males have control over social interactions and mating between other males and females in the group.

These monkeys are seasonal breeders, breeding during the April to June months (October and November in the Nyes area North West of Thies), during which rainfall is the heaviest. It is during these rainy seasons that fruit is most abundant, so it is speculated that green monkeys schedule their breeding around this time, when resources are most abundant. They breed about once a year, with males reaching sexual maturity in five years, females in two. Despite infant mortality being fairly high, at roughly 57%, green monkeys are known to be heavily invested in their offspring, with mothers taking care of their young for about a year before letting them venture out as individual adults.

Related Research Articles

Patas monkey Species of Old World monkey

The patas monkey, also known as the wadi monkey or hussar monkey, is a ground-dwelling monkey distributed over semi-arid areas of West Africa, and into East Africa. It is considered the only member of the genus Erythrocebus.

Old World monkey Family of mammals

Old World monkey is the common English name for a family of primates known taxonomically as the Cercopithecidae. Twenty-four genera and 138 species are recognized, making it the largest primate family. Old World monkey genera include baboons and macaques. Common names for other Old World monkeys include the talapoin, guenon, colobus, douc, vervet, gelada, mangabey, langur, mandrill, surili (Presbytis), patas, and proboscis monkey. Phylogenetically, they are more closely related to apes than to New World monkeys. They diverged from a common ancestor of New World monkeys around 55 million years ago.

Olive baboon Also called the Anubis baboon, is a member of the family Cercopithecidae (Old World monkeys)

The olive baboon, also called the Anubis baboon, is a member of the family Cercopithecidae. The species is the most wide-ranging of all baboons, being found in 25 countries throughout Africa, extending from Mali eastward to Ethiopia and Tanzania. Isolated populations are also present in some mountainous regions of the Sahara. It inhabits savannahs, steppes, and forests. The common name is derived from its coat colour, which is a shade of green-grey at a distance. A variety of communications, vocal and non-vocal, facilitate a complex social structure.

Vervet monkey Species of Old World monkey

The vervet monkey, or simply vervet, is an Old World monkey of the family Cercopithecidae native to Africa. The term "vervet" is also used to refer to all the members of the genus Chlorocebus. The five distinct subspecies can be found mostly throughout Southern Africa, as well as some of the eastern countries. Vervets were introduced to Florida, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Cape Verde. These mostly herbivorous monkeys have black faces and grey body hair color, ranging in body length from about 40 cm (16 in) for females, to about 50 cm (20 in) for males.

Giant eland An open-forest and savanna antelope of the family Bovidae

The giant eland, also known as the Lord Derby eland, is an open-forest and savanna antelope. A species of the family Bovidae and genus Taurotragus, it was described in 1847 by John Edward Gray. The giant eland is the largest species of antelope, with a body length ranging from 220–290 cm (86.5–114 in). There are two subspecies: T. d. derbianus and T. d. gigas.

King colobus Species of Old World monkey

The king colobus, also known as the western black-and-white colobus, is a species of Old World monkey, found in lowland and mountain rain forests in a region stretching from Senegal, through Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to the Ivory Coast. One of five members of the Genus Colobus which are the black-and-white colobuses. Among all African colobus monkey species, the King colobus is the westernmost species on the continent of Africa. It eats mainly leaves, but also fruits and flowers. Though it is arboreal, it eats primarily on the ground. It lives in small groups consisting of 3 to 4 females and 1 to 3 males, plus their young. These groups maintain distance from one another through territorial calling.

<i>Chlorocebus</i> Genus of Old World monkeys

Chlorocebus is a genus of medium-sized primates from the family of Old World monkeys. Six species are currently recognized, although some people classify them all as a single species with numerous subspecies. Either way, they make up the entirety of the genus Chlorocebus.

Grivet Species of Old World monkey

The grivet, also known as African green monkey and savannah monkey, is an Old World monkey with long white tufts of hair along the sides of its face. Some authorities consider this and all of the members of the genus Chlorocebus to be a single species, Cercopithecus aethiops. As here defined, the grivet is restricted to Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti, and Eritrea. In the southern part of its range, it comes into contact with the closely related vervet monkey and Bale Mountains vervet. Hybridization between them is possible, and may present a threat to the vulnerable Bale Mountains vervet. Unlike that species, the grivet is common and rated as least concern by the IUCN.

Bohor reedbuck

The bohor reedbuck is an antelope native to central Africa. The animal is placed under the genus Redunca and in the family Bovidae. It was first described by German zoologist and botanist Peter Simon Pallas in 1767. The bohor reedbuck has five subspecies. The head-and-body length of this medium-sized antelope is typically between 100–135 cm (39–53 in). Males reach approximately 75–89 cm (30–35 in) at the shoulder, while females reach 69–76 cm (27–30 in). Males typically weigh 43–65 kg (95–143 lb) and females 35–45 kg (77–99 lb). This sturdily built antelope has a yellow to grayish brown coat. Only the males possess horns which measure about 25–35 cm (9.8–13.8 in) long.

African brush-tailed porcupine Species of rodent

The African brush-tailed porcupine is a species of rat-like Old World porcupine, indigenous to a broad belt of Africa ranging from Guinea on the west coast to Kenya on the east. This is a common species with a very wide range, and despite being used extensively for bushmeat, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated its conservation status as being of "least concern".

Verreauxs eagle-owl Species of owl

Verreaux's eagle-owl, also commonly known as the milky eagle owl or giant eagle owl, is a member of the family Strigidae. This species is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa. A member of the genus Bubo, it is the largest African owl, measuring up to 66 cm (26 in) in total length. This eagle-owl is a resident primarily of dry, wooded savanna. Verreaux's eagle-owl is mainly grey in color and is distinguishable from other large owls by its bright pink eyelids, a feature shared with no other owl species in the world.

Malbrouck Species of Old World monkey

The malbrouck is an Old World primate from Africa that belongs to the genus Chlorocebus. The species is sometimes classified as a subspecies of the vervet monkey, or of the widespread grivet.

Wildlife of the Gambia

Wildlife of the Gambia is dictated by several habitat zones over its total land area of about 10,000 km2. It is bound in the south by the savanna and on the north by the Sudanian woodlands. The habitats host abundant indigenous plants and animals, in addition to migrant species and newly planted species. They vary widely and consist of the marine system, coastal zone, estuary with mangrove vegetation coupled with Banto Faros, river banks with brackish and fresh water zones, swamps covered with forests and many wetlands.

Campbells mona monkey Species of Old World monkey

Campbell's mona monkey, also known as Campbell's guenon and Campbell's monkey is a species of primate in the family Cercopithecidae found in the Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. It was named for Henry Dundas Campbell, in 1838. Lowe's mona monkey was previously considered a subspecies of Campbell's mona monkey. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated this species as being a near-threatened species because it has a wide range and is able to adapt to degraded habitats.

Lesser spot-nosed monkey Species of Old World monkey

The lesser spot-nosed monkey, lesser spot-nosed guenon, lesser white-nosed guenon, or lesser white-nosed monkey is a species of primate in the family Cercopithecidae. It is found in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Togo, Guinea-Bissau, and possibly Senegal.

Crested mona monkey Species of Old World monkey

The crested mona monkey, also known as the crowned guenon, crowned monkey, golden-bellied guenon, or golden-bellied monkey,, is a species of African primate in the family Cercopithecidae found in west central Africa.

Olive colobus Species of Old World monkey

The olive colobus monkey, also known as the green colobus or Van Beneden's colobus, is a species of primate in the family Cercopithecidae. Its English name refers to its dull olive upperparts. It is the smallest example of all colobine monkeys and is rarely observed in its natural habitat because of its cryptic coloration and secretive nature. It is found in the rain forests of West Africa, ranging from southern Sierra Leone to Nigeria. As of 2019, the IUCN Red List classifies the olive colobus as vulnerable, with the cause of its decline attributed to habitat loss and hunting. Though much of the land within the range of the olive colobus has been affected by human activities, it retains its ability to thrive in small degraded forest fragments.

Gambian epauletted fruit bat Species of bat

The Gambian epauletted fruit bat is a species of megabat in the family Pteropodidae.

Tantalus monkey Species of Old World monkey

The tantalus monkey is an Old World monkey from Africa that ranges from Ghana to Sudan. It was originally described as a subspecies of the grivet. All species in Chlorocebus were formerly in the genus Cercopithecus. It is a common species with a wide range, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated its conservation status as being of "least concern".

River Gambia National Park national park in the Gambia

River Gambia National Park is a national park in the Gambia.


  1. 1 2 Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 158–159. ISBN   0-801-88221-4. OCLC   62265494.
  2. Kingdon, J. & Gippoliti, S. (2008). "Chlorocebus sabaeus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2008: e.T136265A4267012. doi: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T136265A4267012.en .
  3. 1 2 3 Kingdon, J. (1997). The Kingdon Guide to African Mammals . London: Academic Press Limited. ISBN   0-12-408355-2.[ page needed ]
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Cawthon Lang, K. A. (2006). "Primate Factsheets: Vervet (Chlorocebus) Taxonomy, Morphology, & Ecology" . Retrieved 2007-08-13.
  5. Cornelis J. Hazevoet1 & Marco Masseti (2011). "On the history of the green monkey Chlorocebus sabaeus (L., 1766) in the Cape Verde Islands, with notes on other introduced mammals" (PDF). Sociedade Caboverdiana de Zoologia. ISSN   2074-5737.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. Matthew Keller, , "Animal Diversity Web", 3/26/12