The Wedge-Capped Capuchin (Cebus Olivaceus), also known as the Weeper Capuchin, or Ka’Apor Capuchin, is a New World Monkey in the Cebidae family of monkeys and is commonly northern Brazil, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, Venezuela and possibly northern Colombia. Adult Wedge-Capped Capuchins are approximately 6 to 7 pounds, with the males weighing slightly more than the females typically. Named for a triangle of dark fur in the center of their foreheads, this tell-tale marking starts between their eyes and extends to the back of their head to create a black “cap” shaped like a wedge.
Wedge-Capped Capuchins live in groups that range widely in size, containing anywhere from 5 to 30 individual monkeys. Each group will have 1 alpha male that is responsible for the majority of their breeding, with the cast majority of their population being comprised of females. The birthrate of Wedge-Capped Capuchins varies with age, with younger females giving birth approximately every 2 years and older females giving birth approximately every 3-4 years. Wedge-Capped Capuchins have a life expectancy of up to 36 years old.
Wedge-Capped Capuchins prefer their habitat to be located in primary forest regions where to foliage is mostly undisturbed so that they can move through the canopy with relative ease. They are most commonly found in the rainforests of northern Brazil and Venezuela, but they can also extend into riverbed areas of Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. Wedge-Capped Capuchins can thrive in both tall, densely grown forest areas as well as the sparser lower forests, making them one of the most adaptable species of monkeys in South America.
Like most New World Monkeys, the Wedge-Capped Capuchin is an omnivore and comprises its diet of both plants and small animals such as insects. Their foraging behavior will vary from season to season as certain foods become more or less scarce with the climate. Overall, Wedge-Capped Capuchins will have an almost even mix of plants and animals in their diet, and also spend about equal amounts of time obtaining those food sources. The exception to this is infant monkeys who more commonly feed upon fruits that are easier and require less motor skill to acquire.
Most of the plant sources that Wedge-Capped Capuchins prefer are ripe fruits such as figs, while their preferred animal cuisine includes snails, wasps, caterpillars, grasshoppers, ants, bird eggs, and many insects that inhabit palm crowns. Males spend more time searching for insects on the surface of branches, while females search for most of their insects atop palm trees.
Fun Wedge-Capped Capuchin Facts
- There are approximately 2 females to every male at Wedge-Capped Capuchin birth.
- Wedge-Capped Capuchins have a life expectancy of up to 36 years old.
- Sub-adult female Wedge-Capped Capuchins rarely groom each other, but rather focus their attention on grooming older females.
- Allomaternal nursing (wet nursing) is common in Wedge-Capped Capuchins, but this practice is very rare among other primates.
- Wedge-capped capuchins sometimes rub themselves with millipedes they find while foraging because the chemicals they release act as an insect repellant towards mosquitos.