Sapajus flavius


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Sapajus flavius
Species Authority: Schreber, 1774
Common Name(s):
English Blonde Capuchin, Marcgrave's Capuchin Monkey
Cebus flavius (Schreber, 1774)
Taxonomic Notes: Silva Jr (2001, 2002) argued that the tufted capuchins and the untufted capuchins (sensu Hershkovitz 1949, 1955) are so distinct in their morphology that they should be considered separate genera. Cebus Erxleben, 1777 for the untufted group, and Sapajus Kerr, 1792 is the name available for the tufted capuchins.

Cebus queirozi Pontes and Malta, 2006 in Pontes, Malta and Asfora, 2006, is evidently a junior synonym, or, as argued by Oliveira and Langguth (2006), unavailable for lack of a registered type specimen.

The species was transferred to Sapajus (Lynch Alfaro et al. 2012).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2008-07-01
Assessor(s): de Oliveira, M.M., Boubli, J.-P. & Kierulff, M.C.M.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B.
This species listed as Critically Endangered due to an extremely small population size and continuing decline. The estimated total population is 180 individuals, all of which are extremely fragmented (approximately 24 subpopulations) and averaging approximately 15 individuals.
2008 Critically Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The coastal region of north-east Brazil in the states of Alagoas, Paraíba and Pernambuco (Oliveira and Langguth 2006; Pontes et al. 2006). Sapajus libidinosus occurs inland (see Oliveira and Langguth 2006).
Brazil (Alagoas, Paraíba, Pernambuco)
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The remaining populations of this species are all extremely fragmented (approximately 24 subpopulations) each averaging approximately 15 total individuals. The estimated total remaining mature populations size is 180 individuals (M. M. de Oliveira, unpubl.).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Lowland coastal rain forest and Montrichiardia linina swamp in north-east Brazil (Pontes et al. 2006), secondary forest, semi-deciduous seasonal forest, canopy at about 20 m and emergents about 25 m. Capuchin monkeys are arboreal quadripeds, they are typically found in the lower to mid-canopy and understory (Freese and Oppenheimer 1981; Fragaszy et al. 2004; Jack 2007).

Capuchin monkeys are frugivores-insectivores, including a wide variety of fruits, seeds and arthropods, frogs, nestlings and even small mammals, supplemented by stems, flowers and leaves. They are extractive, manipulative foragers. Typical group size for tufted capuchins is about 18 individuals, with numbers of females exceeding the numbers of males (adult sex ratio of 0.85). Pontes et al. (2006) recorded a group of 18. Males disperse. Both sexes take up linear hierarchies, the top ranking male being dominant to the top ranking female. Subordinate males are often peripheral (Fragaszy et al. 2004).

Adult male HB 36.8 cm, TL 37.8 cm, weight 3.0 kg (Oliveira and Langguth 2006)
Adult male HB 40.0 cm, TL 41 cm, weight 2.9 kg (Pontes et al. 2006)
Adult female HB 35.1 cm, TL 38.4 cm, weight 1.8 kg (Oliveira and Langguth 2006)
Adult female HB 36.1 cm, TL 38.0 cm, weight 2.5 kg (Oliveira and Langguth 2006).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats are hunting (for food and pets), and habitat loss and fragmentation (mainly through coastal development and sugar cane).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species has not been recorded from any protected areas, though several are within range, including Guaribas Biological Reserve (2,714 ha), Barra do Mamanguape EPA (14,640 ha), Manguezais da Foz do rio Mamanguape (Area of Outstanding Ecological Interest; 5,721 ha), and Engenho Gargau RPPN and Mata Estrela RPPN. Surveys over its entire range are needed to establish habitat preferences, area of occupancy, and population numbers.

It is listed on CITES Appendix II.

Bibliography [top]

Fragaszy, D. M., Visalberghi, E. and Fedigan, L. 2004. The Complete Capuchin: The Biology of the Genus Cebus. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Freese, C. H. and Oppenheimer, J. R. 1981. The capuchin monkeys, Cebus. In: A. F. Coimbra-Filho and R. A. Mittermeier (eds), The Ecology and Behavior of Neotropical Primates, Vol. 1., pp. 331-390. Academia Brasileira de Ciências, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Hershkovitz, P. 1949. Mammals of northern Colombia. Preliminary report No. 4: Monkeys (Primates) with taxonomic revisions of some forms. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 98: 323–427.

Hershkovitz, P. 1955. Notes on the American monkeys of the genus Cebus. Journal of Mammalogy 36: 449–452.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.1. Available at: (Accessed: 28 May 2015).

Jack, K. 2007. The cebines: toward an explanation of variable social structure. In: C. J. Campbell, A. Fuentes, K. C. Mackinnon, M. Panger and S. K. Bearder (eds), Primates in Perspective, pp. 107-123. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Lynch Alfaro, J.W., Silva, J.S. and Rylands, A.B. 2012. How different are robust and gracile Capuchin Monkeys? An argument for the use of Sapajus and Cebus. American Journal of Primatology 74(4): 273–286.

Oliveira, M. M. de and Langguth, A. 2006. Rediscovery of Marcgrave's capuchin monkey and designation of a neotype for Simia flavia Schreber, 1774 (Primates, Cebidae). Boletim do Museu Nacional Botanica (Rio de Janeiro) 523: 1–16.

Pontes, A. R. M., Malta, A. and Asfora, P. H. 2006. A new species of capuchin monkey, genus Cebus Erxleben (Cebidae, Primates): found at the very brink of extinction in the Pernambuco Endemism Centre. Zootaxa 1200: 1-12.

Silva Jr., J. de S. 2001. Especiação nos macacos-prego e caiararas, gênero Cebus Erxleben, 1777 (Primates, Cebidae). Doctoral Thesis, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

Silva Jr., J. de S. 2002. Sistemática dos macacos –prego e caiararas, gênero Cebus Erxleben, 1777 (Primates, Cebidae). Livro de Resumos, X Congresso Brasieliero de Primatologia: Amazônia – A Última Fronteira: 35. Bélém, Brazil.

Citation: de Oliveira, M.M., Boubli, J.-P. & Kierulff, M.C.M. 2015. Sapajus flavius. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 01 September 2015.
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