The Wolf’s mona monkey also called Wolf’s guenon, is a colorful Old World monkey in the Cercopithecidae family. It is found in central Africa, primarily between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. It lives in primary and secondary lowland rainforest and swamp forest.
The species was first described from a living specimen in the Zoological Garden at Dresden. It was brought in 1887 by Dr Ludwig Wolf from somewhere in central west Africa. The species was described in 1891 and named after the collector. This specimen died in October 1891 and the skeletal characters were described in 1894.
Wolf’s mona monkey is in the C. mona grouping within the Cercopithecus genus is a member of the Cercopithecinae subfamily along with baboons, mangabeys, and macaques. This subfamily shares several common traits such as cheek pouches, low and rounded molar cusps, and simple stomachs; all adaptations to a frugivorous diet.
Wolf’s mona monkey has two subspecies which are separated by a large area of swamp forest
Guenons, the largest group of African primates, are very colorful. Their color is used in intraspecific communication for recognizing individuals, species, and potential mates. Wolf’s mona monkey is dark grey with a red “saddle” on its back. Males weigh, on average, almost twice as much as females (4.5 kg and 2.5 kg respectively). Its small size makes it susceptible to predators, especially the Crowned Eagle and the Leopard.
The diet of Wolf’s mona monkey differs depending on location. Although predominantly a frugivore, it may also forage for seeds and insects for protein. Since it has no adaptations for leaf eating, its leaf diet mainly consists of young and easily digestible leaves.
The birth season for Wolf’s mona monkey is from June through December due to rainfall and resource availability. It lives in a single male/multi-female group. It is female philopatric, with males dispersing from the group at sexual maturity. Because one male controls several females there is extreme competition for the alpha male position. Females, on the other hand, are generally amicable and participate in grooming and allomothering. Unlike macaques there are no strong linear dominance hierarchies.
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