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Animal Data > Diana Monkey

(Cercopithecus diana diana)

Status Distribution Sexually Mature
Endangered Sierra Leone to Ghana in Wetern Africa 5 months
Number of Young Gestation Life Span
1 180 days 15 years

Diana Monkeys belong to a group of monkeys known as Guenons. This name originates from the French word ('guenon') which means 'fright'. This is because the monkeys expose their teeth in a grimace when they become excited.

They live in forests, mostly primary forests that haven't been disturbed. They prefer the middle and upper strata (layers) of the forest, but will sometimes venture into the lower branches. Living amongst branches, they have what is known as an arboreal lifestyle. Their range is from Sierra Leone to Ghana in West Africa. Their diet in the wild consists of fruit, seeds, flowers, leaves and small insects. They are diurnal (active during the day).

They live in groups of 5 - 50 individuals, with only 1 adult male. Although they will sometimes mix with groups of other guenon monkeys, they aggressively defend territories if the boundaries overlap with those of nearby Diana monkey groups.

Diana monkeys communicate fear by an alarm call whistle. They use different calls depending on the threat, and have a louder call for more dangerous predators such as eagles and leopards.

The Diana Monkey is listed as an Endangered Species by the World Conservation Union in their Red List of Threatened Species. This is due to habitat destruction, the skin/fur trade, and also the bush meat trade. (Wild animals killed and sent to market in towns and cities, at an unsustainable level).

Main Features

Diana Monkeys are grey agouti, with a brownish red back, a black tail, and white underparts. They have a distinctive white stripe on thigh and a red or cream coloured rump. The face is black with a whitebeard.

In Captivity

The Diana monkeys enclosure is in the 'Into Africa' house, and they share the enclosure with the Black and White Colobus Monkeys. It has been designed to incorporate several forms of behavioral enrichment. Their food (which is a range of fruit and vegetables) is put in swinging feeders, puzzle feeders or scattered around the enclosure - this provides variety and encourages them to forage. The enclosure is also furnished with a range of swinging ropes, branches, and tiered platforms which physically challenges the monkeys, and helps maintain hand/eye co-ordination and muscle condition.

©2009 Marwell Wildlife