Red-eared guenon (Cercopithecus erythrotis)
|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)
- 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.
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
Find out more about primate conservation and the bushmeat trade:
Centre for Education, Research and Conservation of Primates and Nature (CERCOPAN):
The Bushmeat Crisis Task Force:
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:
- 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.
IUCN Red List (November, 2012)
CITES (November, 2012)
- Macdonald, D. (2010) The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
CERCOPAN - Guenons (November, 2012)
Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program (BBPP) (November, 2012)