Red-eared guenon (Cercopithecus erythrotis)

loading
Bioko red-eared guenon male in rainforest
IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable VULNERABLE

Top facts

  • A colourful primate, the red-eared guenon has a blue, red and yellow face.
  • The red-eared guenon feeds on fruit, leaves, shoots and insects.
  • ‘Guenon’ is French for ‘fright’, and refers to the tooth-bearing grimace these primates display when angry or excited.
  • Unlike other guenon species, the red-eared guenon is relatively quiet and produces a soft trill-like contact call.
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Red-eared guenon fact file

Red-eared guenon description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderPrimates
FamilyCercopithecidae
GenusCercopithecus (1)

The red-eared guenon (Cercopithecus erythrotis) is a small, brightly coloured monkey with distinctive facial markings. It has blue fur around its eyes, a brick-red nose and ears, and yellow cheeks (3) (4). While the majority of its silky coat is brown agouti, the red-eared guenon has grey limbs and a red tail (3).

Guenons have extremely long tails which are vital for agility and balance. Infants use their tails like a prehensile limb to cling to the female (4).

A shy species (1), the red-eared guenon produces a quiet trill, unlike other guenons that give loud, long-distance calls (3) (4).

Also known as
red-eared monkey, Russet-eared guenon.
French
Moustac À Oreilles Rouges.
Spanish
Mono De Orejas Rojas.
Size
Head-body length: 36 - 51 cm (3)
Male weight: 3.6 kg (3)
Female weight: 2.9 kg (3)
Top

Red-eared guenon biology

Guenon species are omnivorous, and the red-eared guenon is known to eat fruits, leaves, shoots and insects (3) (4) (5). Insects are important for nutrition, especially for pregnant and lactating females (4).

Guenons live in groups which vary greatly in size depending on the species and the quality of the habitat (4). The red-eared guenon typically lives in groups with at least one adult male and around ten females with young (5). Guenon troops are not as hierarchical as some primate societies, and although they are territorial, they usually avoid conflict with other groups. ‘Guenon’ is French for ‘fright’, and refers to the angry or excited grimace displayed by these primates, in which the teeth are exposed (4).
 
Little is known about breeding in the red-eared guenon. However, guenon species typically give birth to a single infant every one to three years, with gestation lasting around five or six months (3) (4). The timing of the breeding season varies between species. Some breed at the end of the dry season, so that lactation coincides with the peak fruiting season, while others breed throughout the year (4).
 
Guenons are predated by a number of species including eagles and snakes, and respond to the presence of a predator with a variety of alarm calls (4).
Top

Red-eared guenon range

The red-eared guenon has a small range on mainland Africa, from the Cross River in southeast Nigeria to just south of the Sanaga River in Cameroon. It is also found on the island of Bioko in Equatorial Guinea (1).

Top

Red-eared guenon habitat

An arboreal species, the red-eared guenon is found in lowland tropical and sub-montane forests. On the island of Bioko it has been known to live in close proximity to humans (1).

Top

Red-eared guenon status

The red-eared guenon is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1) and listed on Appendix II of CITES (2). Subspecies: the Cameroon red-eared monkey (C. e. camerunensis) and the Bioko red-eared guenon (C. e. erythrotis) are listed as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable

Top

Red-eared guenon threats

The red-eared guenon population is thought to have declined by 30 percent over the last 27 years. Habitat loss as a result of deforestation for timber and farm land is thought to be the main threat to this species, and it is also hunted for the bushmeat trade (1).

Top

Red-eared guenon conservation

The red-eared guenon occurs in a number of protected reserves, most notably the Cross River National Park in Nigeria, Korup National Park in Cameroon, and the Gran Caldera and Southern Highlands Scientific Reserve on the island of Bioko (1) (5).

It is also protected as part of the prominent Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program (BBPP), which organises patrol teams that deter hunters and monitor primate populations. Other conservation measures by the BBPP include running awareness campaigns and promoting ecotourism as part of a wider effort to show that Bioko’s wildlife is more valuable in attracting tourism than as bushmeat (5).
View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
Top

Find out more

Find out more about primate conservation and the bushmeat trade:

Top

Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

This species information was authored as part of the ARKive and Universities Scheme.
Top

Glossary

Arboreal
An animal which lives or spends a large amount of time in trees.
Gestation
The state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth.
Montane forest
Forest occurring in mountains.
Omnivorous
Feeding on both plants and animals.
Prehensile
Capable of grasping.
Territorial
Describes an animal, a pair of animals or a group that occupies and defends an area.
Top

References

  1. IUCN Red List (November, 2012)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  2. CITES (November, 2012)
    http://www.cites.org/
  3. Macdonald, D. (2010) The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  4. CERCOPAN - Guenons (November, 2012)
    http://www.cercopan.org/Primates/guenons.htm
  5. Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program (BBPP) (November, 2012)
    http://www.bioko.org/index.php
X
Close

Image credit

Bioko red-eared guenon male in rainforest  
Bioko red-eared guenon male in rainforest

© Tim Laman / naturepl.com

Nature Picture Library
5a Great George Street
Bristol
BS1 5RR
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 117 911 4675
Fax: +44 (0) 117 911 4699
info@naturepl.com
http://www.naturepl.com

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Red-eared guenon (Cercopithecus erythrotis) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog