Collared Mangabey Fact File

Cercocebus torquatus








Wild 30 years

Captive 40 years



Fruit, Insects

Conservation Status



Collared mangabeys are a primate found in Africa and are also known as the red-capped mangabey or white collared mangabey.

They are named for the white fur which is found on the cheeks and around the back.

Collared mangabeys are omnivores with a wide ranging diet which includes fruit, plant matter, insects, eggs and small animals.

These primates face increasing threats from habitat loss and hunting for the bushmeat trade. This has led to severe declines in their population and meant they are now listed as endangered.

Read on to learn more about these marvellous monkeys.


The collared mangabey is also known as the red-capped mangabey due to the crown of dark-maroon fur on top of their head. Above the eyes is a large white eyelid which has gained them the nickname of "four-eyed monkey." Across the back is dark grey fur with white across the front, cheeks and sides of the neck. They have darker fur on the hands and feet.

Their eyes are colored brown with a round, black pupil.

At the end of the body is a long dark grey tail which ends with a white tip. It may reach a length of up to 70cm (27.5in) long.

An average collared mangabey measures 38-39cm (15-35in) long with a weight of 7-14kg (15-30lbs). Males tend to be larger than females.


Collared mangabeys are omnivores. The bulk of their diet comes from fruits and nuts. Mushrooms, plant matter, nectar, insects and occasionally bird eggs or small animals are also consumed. Some remains of animals left by other predators may be scavenged for on the forest floor.

These monkeys are equipped with a large cheek pouch which can be used to store food to snack on later.

Their teeth and jaws are extremely powerful helping them to crack through shells on nuts which other primates which share their habitat can't. This gives them greater access to food in their habitat.

Collared Mangabey


Africa is the native home of the collared mangabey. Here they can be found in west of the continent through the following countries - Cameroon; Congo; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon and Nigeria.

The species is potentially already extinct in Benin.


They make their home in forests, mangroves, dryland gallery and swamp forest. They may also be found in cultivated areas.

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These primates may mate with multiple individuals. When females are ready to mate their buttocks will swell.

The collared mangabey will give birth to a single infant after 167-176 days. On occasion they may have twins. While young are almost entirely hairless at birth they do already have the red colored crown.

Newborns will cling to the mothers fur and be carried through the forest. Initially they move around on her underside but as they become older they will move on to her back.

Once the males reach sexual maturity they will leave their natal group and find another. Occasionally they can not find one and they live alone for a period of time.

Weaning occurs at 7-10 months old but they may remain with their mother for 1-3 years.

Females reach sexual maturity at 4 years old while males mature later between 5 and 7 years old.


These primates are extremely social and live in groups which include up to 30 members. Some extra large groups may grow up to 60 members. This may include a number of adult males unlike other species which tend to only include a single male.

Females form the core of the group and they maintain a strict hierarchy.

At night they may split in to smaller groups to sleep.

Collared mangabeys will create a range of vocalizations which carry long distances across their environment. They may be heard as far as 1km (0.6miles) away. These can be used to mark their territory.

Communication may occur with one another using their white tail tip. This tail is carried over the back when travelling through the forest.

Much of their day is spent in the trees where they forage and sleep but they may also come down to the ground to forage for mushrooms or animal prey.

Collared Mangabey

Predators and Threats

Natural predators of the collared mangabey include leopards and eagles.

To escape predators which can climb they will take to the ground and run away.

The population of the collared mangabey is currently decreasing and they are now thought to be rare across much of their range. An increasing population in their range is fueling further demand for this land.

These animals face a range of threats including habitat loss for conversion to agriculture. One of their most significant threats is hunting to supply the bushmeat trade. They are seen as providing one of the highest yields of meat per individual captured.

Newly created roads in to the forests they inhabit has increased access for hunters.

Quick facts

The collared mangabey is also known as the white-collared or red-capped mangabey.

Their scientific name, Cerocebus, means "tail monkey."

Collared Mangabey

Photo Credits


Public Domain

Middle One

Rufus46, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Middle Two

I, BS Thurner Hof, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


BeKay, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


Maisels, F., Oates, J.F., Linder, J., Ikemeh, R., Imong, I. & Etiendem, D. 2019. Cercocebus torquatus (errata version published in 2019). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T4201A154210757. Downloaded on 04 July 2021. 2021. Red-capped mangabey. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 5 July 2021].

Binder Park Zoo. 2021. Red-capped Mangabey - Binder Park Zoo. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 5 July 2021]. 2021. Mangabey | San Diego Zoo Animals & Plants. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 5 July 2021].

Nguyen, K. 1999. "Cercocebus torquatus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed July 04, 2021 at

New England Primate Conservancy. 2021. Red-Capped Mangabey. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 5 July 2021].

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