White Throated Capuchin

Wild Status:

Least Concern

Scientific Name:

Cebus capucinus


South America


This species has relatively long limbs compared to trunk size. The White throated capuchin has a prehensile tail which can be used as a fifth limb to grip branches etc. This species is sexually dimorphic with distinct visual differences between males and females. Fingers on this species are short and the thumb is opposable. Having an opposable thumb allows a capuchin monkey to manipulate objects in their environment. The premolars of the black-capped capuchin are large, and the molars are square shaped with thick enamel to help with cracking nuts. The average body mass for the male white-throated capuchin is 3.7 kilograms, and for the female it is 2.5 kilograms.


The white-throated capuchin is found in the countries of Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The white-throated capuchin lives in a variety of forest habitats, including open and closed canopy, wet and dry primary, and secondary forests; this species is also found in lowland and montane habitats. This species is also found in young successional forest.


The white-throated capuchin is omnivorous, relying on fruits and insects. Fruit constitutes 78% of the diet. This diurnal species also eats lizards, bird eggs, adult parrots and magpie jays, squirrels, bats, and nestling coatis. The white-throated capuchin is primarily arboreal. The groups range in size from 2 to 30 individuals.

Social Behaviour:

The white-throated capuchin has polygamous mating system, although sometimes a subordinate male may copulate with a female. The social system found in this species is multimale-multifemale. This species has a matrilineal dominance hierarchy. The females of this species are philopatric and the males disperse. Social grooming is an important method of maintaining social bonds within the group. Other members of the group assist in caring for the infants, including the males.


The white-throated capuchin gives birth to a single offspring. This species engages in same-sex sexual behaviour and adult-immature sexual behaviour, which is comparable to the sexual behaviour found in the Bonobo Chimpanzee (Pan paniscus). Male-male sexual behaviour occurs more frequently after fights and during coalition formation attempts. This sexual behaviour between males might also be related to that males disperse and when entering new groups there is often tension, and sex may be used as a communication tool to alleviate tension.

Threats to the Capuchins survival are through hunting for food and collection for the pet trade but its biggest threat is due to the continual loss of its natural habitat.