Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey

Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey

The Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri Boliviensis), also known as the Bolivian Squirrel Monkey or Peruvian Squirrel Money, is a New World Monkey in the Cebidae family of monkeys and is found in the South American countries of Bolivia, Peru, and Brazil. One of the more common members of the Squirrel Money family, the Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey’s appearance will vary slightly depending on which region they are spotted, hence the two subspecies distinctions of Bolivian and Peruvian. However, other than some slight variations in color, there is no real difference between the two which is why they are classified as one species.


The Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey is found in the rainforests of central South America including the countries of Bolivia, Peru, and Brazil; giving it one of the largest distributions areas of any primate in South America. Commonly found medium-density growth areas, the Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey prefers areas with good overhead coverage to prevent them being spotted by birds of prey; one of their top predators.


The Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey is an omnivorous primate, meaning it eats both plants and animals. Their diet is mainly comprised of fruits and gum, but they also feast upon frogs, spiders, bird eggs, and other small insects and animals. Despite having special adaptations to access plant exudates from trees, the Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey has a very diverse diet and will gladly eat whatever food source is most readily available.

Fun Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey Facts

  1. Breeding season for the Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey is restricted to only 3 months of the year.
  2. Mature male Black-Capped Squirrel Monkeys live within a subgroup separate from the females and young.
  3. Most male Black-Capped Squirrel Monkeys only mate with one female each mating season. Only the most dominant males take multiple mating partners each season.
  4. Squirrel Monkeys have the largest brains of all primates relative to their body size; about 4-5% of their body weight.