The Schmidt's red-tailed monkey is a small guenon with a white or yellow nose, white cheeks and a long tail. Their fur is brown, black and gray, and the underside of their tail is red, giving them their name.
To aid in foraging, Schmidt's red-tailed monkeys have large cheek pouches that store almost as much food as their stomachs. They can pack food into these pouches and quickly move to another location to safely consume it away from other individuals that may try to steal their food.
Their body lengths range between 12 and 24 inches (30.5 and 61 centimeters), with males slightly larger than females. Tails can reach lengths of 35 inches (89 centimeters). Adult males weigh roughly 7-10 pounds (3.1-4.5 kilograms), and adult females weigh between 6 and 8 pounds (2.7 and 3.6 kilograms).
Schmidt's red-tailed monkeys are native to central Africa east of the Lualaba River in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya. Their range also extends north to Central African Republic and South Sudan. These monkeys live in a variety of primary and secondary tropical, swamp, mountain and lowland forest.
Communication includes the use of gestures, tail flicks and a wide range of vocalizations, including chirps, croaks and alarm calls.
Schmidt's red-tailed monkeys are primarily frugivores (fruit-eaters). In seasons where fruit is less abundant, they will also eat leaves, flowers, insects and gum from trees.
At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they eat a primate biscuit supplemented with vegetables, greens, fruit and a small amount of root vegetables.
Gestation for these monkeys is five to six months, and they tend to give birth to a single baby. As with other guenon species, females are the primary care givers, though other females in the group may assist. Schmidt's red-tailed monkeys breed throughout the entire year.
These monkeys are diurnal, meaning they are active during the daytime and sleep at night.
The life span of the Schmidt's is estimated to be about 28 years.
Schmidt's red-tailed monkeys are a species of least concern. Their primary threats include hunting and deforestation.
- Be a smart consumer. Choose products made with sustainable ingredients, such as Smithsonian certified Bird Friendly coffees, which support farmers striving to limit their impact on wildlife and habitat.
- Share the story of this animal with others. Simply raising awareness about this species can contribute to its overall protection.
- Less is more. Cut down on the demand for resources by consuming less. Buy only what you need, and look for pre-owned or repurposed items before purchasing something brand new.