White-Fronted Capuchin Fact File

Cebus albifrons

Credit: Haplochromis, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons








Wild 40 years

Captive 50 years



Insects, Fruit

Conservation Status


Least Concern

The white-fronted capuchin may also be known as the cinnamon capuchin and is found in parts of South America.

These monkeys are highly intelligent with a large brain size compared to their body. They have been shown to use tools when seeking out food and will rub items over their body which act as a form of rudimentary insect protection.

They will seek out a wide range of foods including fruits, insects, small mammals, nectar and birds eggs.

White-front capuchins are threatened by habitat loss and hunting for food or to supply the pet trade.

Read on to learn more about these magical mammals.


What does the white-fronted capuchin look like?

These animals are covered by silky, shiny fur. It is colored different shades of brown across most of the body which is variable across their range. Their name is taken from the white fur on the face and chest.

At the end of the body of the white-fronted capuchin has a tail which is held curled as they move around. This is semi-prehensile and can be used to help them hold on to trees as they climb. It is not strong enough to support their whole weight but can provide support. Often the tip of the tail has paler colored fur.

Their hands feature an opposable thumb which provides a wide range of movement and makes foraging easier.

An average white-fronted capuchin will measure 33-44cm (13-17.5in) long with a weight between 1.1 and 3.3kg (2.5-7.25lbs) with males being larger than females.


What does the white-fronted capuchin eat?

White-fronted capuchins are omnivores. They will feed on fruit, insects, small animals, bird eggs and other invertebrates. During drought they expand their diet to include palm nuts, figs and nectar.

As these animals move around while feeding they help to spread the seeds of trees on which they feed.

Their teeth are covered by the thickest enamel of any non-human primate helping them to crack the hard shells of palm nuts.

White-Fronted Capuchin

Credit: Haplochromis, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


Where can you find the white-fronted capuchin?

South America is the native home of the white-fronted capuchin. Here they can be found in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.

Parts of their range overlap with that of the brown capuchin. Where the two species live together the population density of the white-fronted capuchin is lower.


What kind of environment does the white-fronted capuchin live in?

These animals are found in forest and savanna habitats.

This species is considered arboreal and spends much of its time climbing through the trees.

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How does the white-fronted capuchin produce its young?

There appears to be no set breeding season. Instead they can breed at any time of the year. A clear peak is seen during the dry season.

Females will chase the dominant male to try and attract his attention.

A single infant is born after a 160 day gestation period. The entire family will help to care for the young.

Females give birth every second year taking a break in between to provide care for their young. If at some point in the first year the infant is lost they will breed again the next year.

She is responsible for all care of the young. Other group members will come to their aid if they are in distress.

Sexual maturity is reached between 4 and 5 years old.


What does the white-fronted capuchin do with its day?

A group of white-front capuchins is made up of 15-35 members. They are headed up by a single breeding pair. There are similar numbers of males and females in each group.

Group members will help to groom one another to help reinforce their societal bonds.

They may move around together with groups of other primates which helps with protection against predators. They have been seen with spider monkeys, three-striped night monkeys, Venezuelan red howlers and black-headed uakaris.

They have shown an ability to use tools to obtain their food. This species is highly intelligent with a large brain when compared to their body size.

These animals are active during the day. The troop will spend their time in the trees foraging for food.

A range of vocalizations are produced by these primates. They will chatter and produce an alert call when threatened.

White-Fronted Capuchin

Credit: Photograph by Rama, Wikimedia Commons, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr, CC BY-SA 2.0 FR <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en>, via Wikimedia Commons

Predators and Threats

What is impacting the survival of the white-fronted capuchin?

Natural predators of the white-front capuchin include raptors, small cats and snakes.

To protect against insect bites and fungi they will rub mud, plants and other matter over their body.

When a predator is spotted they will emit a loud call which informs other troop members of the threat. It may also cause the predator to leave them alone.

Populations of the white-fronted capuchin are in decline across their range. They are threated by habitat loss and fragmentation. These animals are also hunted for food and captured to supply the pet trade.

Quick facts

These primates are also known as the cinnamon capuchin or Humboldt's white-fronted capuchin.

The white-fronted capuchin is a species of New World primate.

White-Fronted Capuchin

Credit: Nortondefeis, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


Jackson, T. and Chinery, M., 2012. The illustrated encyclopedia of animals of the world. London: Southwater.

New England Primate Conservancy. 2021. White-Fronted Capuchin. [online] Available at: <https://www.neprimateconservancy.org/white-fronted-capuchin.html> [Accessed 23 November 2021].

Junglefriends.org. 2021. Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary: White-Fronted Capuchins. [online] Available at: <https://www.junglefriends.org/monkeys/capuchins/white-fronted-capuchins/> [Accessed 23 November 2021].

Monkey, C., 2021. Capuchin Monkey | Mansfield Zoo. [online] Mansfieldzoo.com.au. Available at: <https://mansfieldzoo.com.au/animals/capuchin-monkey/> [Accessed 23 November 2021].

Redd, L., 2021. Brights Zoo - White-fronted Capuchin Monkey. [online] Brightszoo.com. Available at: <https://www.brightszoo.com/index.php/153-animals/mammals/primates/187-white-fronted-capuchin-monkey> [Accessed 23 November 2021].

Grida.no. 2021. White-fronted Capuchin (Cebus albifrons), Yasuni National Park, Ecuador | GRID-Arendal. [online] Available at: <https://www.grida.no/resources/3743> [Accessed 23 November 2021].

Mijal, M. 2001. "Cebus albifrons" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed November 22, 2021 at https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Cebus_albifrons/

Link, A., Boubli, J.P., Mittermeier, R.A., Urbani, B., Ravetta, A.L., Guzmán-Caro, D.C., Muniz, C.C. & Lynch Alfaro, J.W. 2021. Cebus albifrons (amended version of 2020 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T39951A191703935. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-1.RLTS.T39951A191703935.en. Downloaded on 23 November 2021.

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