White-Fronted Capuchin

White-Fronted Capuchin

Humboldt's White-fronted capuchin

Cebus albifrons
Life Span
15-40 yrs
56 km/h
2.9-3.4 kg
35-45 cm

White-fronted capuchins are a monkey of the New World and one of the smallest within the capuchin group. Their head is small compared to their body, their torso is slender and they have long, narrow limbs. They are a light brown color on their back and lighter underneath, often in shades of red and yellow. The fur on their back is long and soft, in contrast to the short coarser fur of their underparts. The crown of their head has a dark, round patch. Females sometimes possess a tuft of hair behind this patch. Their face is sparsely covered with pale colored hair, through which their peach-colored flesh can be seen. The color of their limbs ranges from yellows to reddy browns. The males are larger than females and the male’s tail may have a lighter tip.


White-fronted capuchins inhabit northwestern South America, including Columbia, Ecuador, Venezuela, eastern Peru, and a good part of Amazonian Brazil. They like to live in thick primary growth rainforest where traveling from tree to tree can be done easily. White-fronted capuchins also like flooded forests, forests growing between rocks, forests growing in white sand and gravel at the bottom of mesas.

White-Fronted Capuchin habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

These monkeys are diurnal and arboreal. Except for nap around midday, they spend the whole day foraging. They sleep in trees at night, wedged in between branches. They live in groups which have 6 to 40 members, consisting of related females and young, and several males. Mutual grooming and vocalization acts as communication and stabilization within the group. They are territorial animals, clearly marking with urine an area in the centre of their territory and actively defending it against intruders.

Diet and Nutrition

The capuchins are omnivores, eating fruits, birds’ eggs and small animals that they forage for at all levels in the forest. Food sources during drought can be nectar, palm nuts and figs. Capuchins that live near water also eat shellfish and crabs by cracking open their shells with stones.

Mating Habits

Determined by geographic location
150-160 days
1 infant
2 months

These monkeys are polygynous. Groups are usually dominated by one male, with primary rights to breed with any of the females in the group. Females who are ready to mate actively respond to males seeking a mate. They don’t have a season for breeding, with mating periods being determined by location. Females bear a single young baby every 1 to 2 years, after a gestation of 150 to 160 days. Young cling tightly to their mother's chest, then after several weeks they change from a sideways over the shoulder position to riding on their mother’s back. As the baby develops, it starts to move about on its own, exploring the home range. It will nurse for a few months. At about 4 years for females, 8 for males, young become fully mature.


Population threats

As White-fronted capuchins are limited to rainforest habitats, they are threatened by habitat destruction from logging and forest clearance. In some areas they are hunted for meat.

Population number

The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the White-fronted capuchin total population size. According to the Wikipedia resource the total population size of the Trinidad subspecies was 61 individuals at the last census. Currently White-fronted capuchins are classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List; however their numbers today are decreasing.

Ecological niche

White-fronted capuchins assist in dispersing via their feces, the seeds of the fruits that they eat. This may transport propagules somewhere they normally would not get to, far away from the tree they fell from.


1. White-Fronted Capuchin Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-fronted_capuchin
2. White-Fronted Capuchin on The IUCN Red List site - http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/39951/0

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