The Schmidt's red-tailed monkey, also referred to as the black-cheeked white-nosed monkey, spot-nosed monkey or red-tailed guenon, is a small guenon characterized by a distinctive white or yellow nose, white cheeks and a long tail. Brown, black and gray fur covers their bodies, while the underside of the tail is red in color, giving them their name.
These arboreal guenons live at elevations of 1,300 to 8,200 feet (400 to 2,500 meters) in groups of 20 to 30. Groups typically consist of one male and multiple females, though bachelor troops of juvenile males may also form after the juveniles have left their family groups.
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 their food away from other individuals that may try to steal their food.
Body lengths range between 12 and 24 inches (30.5 to 61 centimeters), with males slightly larger than females. Tails can reach 35 inches (89 centimeters) long. Adult males weigh roughly 7 to 10 pounds (3.1 to 4.5 kilograms) and adult females weigh between 6 and 8 pounds (2.7 to 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. Schmidt's red-tailed 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. Their vocalizations are varied and include 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, Schmidt's red-tailed monkeys receive a diet consisting of 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.
The 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.