21 Different Types of Monkeys (Old & New World, Photos & More)

Types of Monkeys

There are over 260 types of monkeys classified either as old world monkeys found in Africa and Asia and new world monkeys in the Americas.

New world monkeys are further divided into 5 families with over 130 species. The Old World monkeys have one Family (Cercopithecoidea) with 138 species.

Types of Monkeys

In summary, these are the different types of monkeys found in the world today;

Old World Monkeys

  • Macaques
  • Baboons
  • Talapoins
  • Red Colobuses
  • Lutungs
  • Snub-nosed monkeys
  • Mandrils
  • Olive Colobus

New World Monkeys

  • Marmosets
  • Common Tamarins
  • Lion Tamarins
  • Capuchins
  • Squirrel monkeys
  • Night or owl monkeys
  • Titis
  • Sakis
  • Uakaris
  • Howler Monkeys
  • Spider monkey
  • Woolly Spider Monkey

Before we discuss their features, here is a chart showing some of the different types of Monkeys we have in the world.

Types of Monkeys

In the next section, we will take a deeper look into 21 types of monkeys (8 old world monkeys and 13 new world monkeys)

Types of Old World Monkeys

Old-World monkeys are native to Asia and Africa. These types of monkeys are omnivorous; feeding on insects, plants and small animals. Different species vary in shape, color, size and habitat as you will see below.

1. Macaques

  • Appearance – Grey-brown, reddish-brown, and dark-brown
  • Weight – 3 to 7 kg
  • Head to body length – 41 to 70 cm
  • Diet – Omnivores feeding on insects, leaves, invertebrates, crabs, shrimp, and frogs

The Macaques monkeys inhabit primary and secondary forests close to water, and lowland rainforests to shrub land. They come in different colors depending on species.

The most common macaque species include, the Japanese macaque, crab-eating macaque, barbary macaque, rhesus macaque, lion- tailed macaque, and the tibetan macaque.

Macaques are very hierarchical and have an intricate social structure.

2. Baboons

Baboons are the world’s largest Old World monkeys. They can be found in Africa and Arabia in habitats such as Savannahs, bushlands, tropical mountains, and forests.

Baboons can be identified with the following features:

  • Appearance – Olive-green to yellow, brown, and silver depending on species. Possess tufts of hairs on their faces and large hairless bottoms.
  • Weight – 22 to 37 kgs
  • Head to body length – 50 to 95cm
  • Diet – Omnivores. They are not picky eaters as they enjoy fruit, seed, berries, roots, tree bark, tree sap and various insects, shellfish, fish, birds, and small mammals.

3. Talapoins

Talapoin Monkey

Talapoins are the smallest species of Old World monkeys are made up of two separate species of monkeys: the Gabon talapoin Monkey, and the Angolan talapoin Monkey. They are both found in West Central Africa.

Talapoins have the following characteristics:

  • Appearance – Greenish- yellow to greenish-gray above, and white to grayish-white below
  • Weight – 0.8 to 1.9kg
  • Head to body length – 25-40 cm
  • Diet – Omnivores as they enjoy leaves, insects, eggs, seeds, fruits, and small vertebrates

Talapoins live in secondary forests, mangrove swamps, lowland rainforests, and riverbanks

Next read : How long do monkeys live?

4. Red colobuses

Red colobuses
  • Appearance – Dark red to black fur with a black stripe along shoulders and arms.
  • Weight –10 to 12 kg
  • Head to body length – 45 to 70 cm
  • Diet –Herbivores feeding mostly on leaves, seeds, flowers, stems, shoots, and unripe fruits.

Red colobus monkeys are arboreal (tree-dwelling) and inhabit Tanzania. Their Habitat is mainly coastal thickets, coral-rag scrub forest, and mangrove swamps. They also inhabit the agricultural areas of Zanzibar.

5. Lutungs

Lutung, Silver leaf monkey

Lutungs are also known as silver leaf monkeys and are mainly found in Malay Peninsula and Archipelago. They live in Dense forests, inland forests, mangroves, and sub-coastal forests.

Here is a summary of their distinctive features:

  • Appearance – Pointed crest and outward-projecting cheek hairs, gray skin and pelage with some grayish-white hairs, giving a silvered appearance.
  • Weight – 4.9 to 8kg
  • Head to body length – 46.5 to 56cm
  • Diet – Herbivores as they feed mostly on leaves, seeds, fruits, shoots, buds, and flowers

6. Snub-nosed monkeys

Snub-nosed monkeys
  • Appearance – rich golden brown to golden red fur, with a black and golden patch on the back.
  • Weight – 6.5 to 39 kg
  • Head to body length – 51 to 67 cm
  • Diet – Herbivores, mostly feed on leaves, grass, lichens, flowers, fruits, and buds

Mostly found in China, snub-nosed langurs get their name from their flattened noses, which sit back from the muzzle with wide, forward-facing nostrils. They inhabit high mountainous, deciduous broadleaved, and coniferous montane forests.       

7. Mandrill


Mandrills are very colorful and are easily identified by the blue, and red skin on their faces. They also have brightly-hued rumps. When they are excited, these distinctive colors become brighter.

Characteristics of mandrills include:

  • Appearance – Brown, grey, white, tan, black
  • Weight – 10 to 37 kg
  • Head to body length – 45 to 65cm
  • Diet – Omnivores, mostly feed on seeds, fruits, fungi, roots, insects, snails, and worms.

8. Olive Colobus

The Olive colobus is the smallest of the colobus monkey species. Olive colobus is the most arboreal of all African monkeys meaning they rarely descend from trees. They Inhabit Montane forests, Lowlands, and Gallery forests

  • Appearance – Olive colored with a tinge of brown and grey
  • Weight – 4 to 14kg
  • Head to body length – Up to 75cm
  • Diet – Herbivores and mostly feed on leaves as well as flowers, and unripe seeds

Types New World Monkeys

There are over 130 species of New World monkeys that inhabit the Americas. Most of the species are small to medium in size. They have a thumb in the same plane as other digits with no fingernails.

Here are 13 types of New World Monkeys:

1. Marmosets


Marmosets are the smallest of the New World monkeys deriving their name which translates to shrimp or dwarf. They mostly inhabit Brazil in scrubs, plantations, and tropical rainforests . [1]  

Their main characteristics are:

  • Appearance- black, brown, silver, and bright orange with white ear tufts and long, banded tails.
  • Weight – 100 to 350g
  • Head to body length – 17 to 23 cm
  • Diet – Omnivores feeding mostly on tree sap, insects, fruit, and small animals

2. Common Tamarins

Tamarin, Types of Monkeys
  • Appearance – Black, brown, and white with white hair flowing down its head and shoulders
  • Weight – 260 to 360g
  • Head to body length – 18 to 30 cm
  • Diet – Omnivores feeding mainly on insects, tree sap, and fruits

Tamarins mostly inhabit Northwestern Colombia. Their voluminous white fur is raised when they are alarmed or excited. This is to make look more impressive and bigger.  

3. Lion Tamarins

Lion Tamarins

Lion tamarins take their name from their impressive thick rings of hair reminiscent of Africa’s great cats, lions. They are mostly found in humid rainforests.  

Here are some of their main features:

  • Appearance – Pale golden, rich reddish-gold coat with a long, soft silky mane.
  • Weight – 480 to 680g
  • Head to body length – 7.5 to 8.75 inches
  • Diet – Omnivores eating spiders, insects, fruits, vegetables, snails, eggs, and small lizards.

4. Capuchins

Different Types of Monkeys, Capuchin

Capuchin monkeys are considered to be the smartest New World monkeys. They get their name from caps of hair they have that resemble the cowls of Capuchin monks. Capuchins have the following characteristics:

  • Appearance – Brown, black, grey, white, or buff
  • Weight – 2 to 3.3 kg
  • Head to body length -32 to 56cm
  • Diet –Omnivores, mainly feed on leaves, barks, seeds, grains, birds, amphibians, and eggs

Capuchins mostly inhabit tropical rainforests and lowlands.

5. Squirrel monkeys

Squirrel Monkeys

Squirrel monkeys have 5 species found in varying locations. These include: Common Squirrel Monkey, the Central American Squirrel Monkey, the Golden-Backed Squirrel monkey, the Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey, and the Black-Headed Squirrel Monkey.

  • Appearance – Grey, black, yellow, and olive
  • Weight –750 to 1100g
  • Head to body length -30 to 55cm
  • Diet –Omnivores mainly feeding on fruits, flowers, and insects
  • Habitat –Tropical rainforests and tropical dry forests

6. Night or owl monkeys

Night Monkey /Owl Monkey
  • Appearance – gray tan and brown
  • Weight – 455 to 1254g
  • Head to body length -240 to 370mm
  • Diet –Omnivores feeding on leaves, barks, seeds, grains, birds, insects, and small vertebrates
  • Habitat – scrub forests, subtropical dry forests, and gallery forests

Night or owl monkeys are made up of 11 species. They get their name from being active mostly at night looking for food. Owl monkeys have excellent vision and can even see in color.

7. Titis

Titis, Titi Monkeys
  • Appearance – Red, brown, black, and grey
  • Weight – Average of 1kg
  • Head to body length – About 33cm
  • Diet –Omnivores, mainly feed on leaves, seeds, and some insects
  • Habitat – Rainforests, swamps, and along river and lakeshores in the lower tree canopy

There are about 20 species of titi monkeys that vary in size and color. However, they have the same physical features. Titis love jumping from branch to branch giving them the name jumping monkey.

8. Sakis

Sakis are commonly referred to as flying monkeys due to their ability to leap as much as 30 feet between branches. They are wildly active during the day.

They mostly live on trees and hardly come down to the ground. Some of their main characteristics are:

  • Appearance – Black, grey, or reddish-brown
  • Weight – 1 to 2kg
  • Head to body length -30 to 42cm
  • Diet –Omnivores, mainly feed on fruits, flowers, leaves, and small insects

9. Uakaris

Uakaris, Types of Monkeys
  • Appearance – Brown, red, black, and white
  • Weight – 2 to 3kg
  • Head to body length – 14 to 22.5 inches
  • Diet- Omnivores, mostly feed on fruits, leaves, nectar, and some insects
  • Habitat –Tropical forests and along small rivers and lakes

Uakaris monkeys are Amazonian primates with special features such as a bright red, bald face, a short tail, and ruddy fur. This monkey is highly specialized and is found mainly in palm tree habitats.

10. Howler monkeys

  • Appearance – Brown, black, and red
  • Weight – 6 to 7 kg
  • Head to body length -22 to 36 inches
  • Diet –Omnivores, mainly feed on fruits, nuts, seeds, birds, amphibians, and eggs
  • Habitat – Rainforest and dense jungle

Howler monkeys are one the largest new world primates and are recognized as the loudest land animal in the world. They have a special enlarged hyoid bone in the throats of howler monkeys, which makes them produce the howling sound. Howler monkeys have traits such as:

11. Spider monkeys

Spider Monkey

Spider monkeys have long tails and limbs. They are arboreal and rarely come down to the jungle floor and are mostly found  from southern Mexico to northern Argentina.

They have characteristics such as:

  • Appearance – Yellow gray, black, dark brown and reddish-brown
  • Weight – 6 to 8kg
  • Head to body length -34 to 59cm
  • Diet –Omnivores, mainly feed on fruits, nuts, small birds, and mammals
  • Habitat –Tropical rainforest canopies
  • Skin type – Coarse fur, other species have finer softer fur.

12. Woolly spider monkeys

The woolly spider monkeys are also known as the Muriqui. They are known to be the largest of the New World monkeys. Their main traits are:

  • Appearance – Brown, black, grey, and yellow-brown
  • Weight – 4.5 to 9kg
  • Head to body length – 38 to 58 cm
  • Diet – Herbivores, mostly feed on fruits, leaves, buds, barks, and flowers
  • Habitat –Coastal forests

13. Woolly monkeys

Woolly Monkeys

The woolly monkey is named after its woolly hair. There are 4 species of woolly monkeys which include  the gray woolly monkey, the Colombian woolly monkey, the brown or common woolly monkey, and the silvery woolly monkey.

There main characteristics are:

  • Appearance – Brown, grey, brown, orange-red, and black
  • Weight – 3 to 10 kg
  • Head to body length – 40 to 60 cm
  • Skin type – Soft coat made of wool-like fur
  • Diet – Omnivores as they feed on fruits, insects, and seeds
  • Habitat – Humid and mature undisturbed tropical forests.

Different Types of Monkeys – Summary Table

Old World MonkeysNew World Monkeys
Talapoins  Capuchins  
Macaques  Squirrel monkeys  
Baboons  Howler  
Red Colobuses  Titis
Lutungs  Sakis  
Mandrils  Spider monkey  
Snub-nosed monkeys  Uakaris  
Olive Colobus  Night monkeys  

Strange & Wonderful Types of Monkeys

Here are some of the most wonderful monkeys that exist, beautifully captured in video. Most of them have been covered above.

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