Cebus albifrons 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Cebidae

Scientific Name: Cebus albifrons (Humboldt, 1812)
Common Name(s):
English Humboldt's White-fronted Capuchin, White-fronted Capuchin
French Spajou à front blanc
Spanish Capuchino de frente blanca
Cebus albifrons ssp. albifrons (Humboldt, 1812)
Cebus albifrons ssp. hypoleucus (Humboldt, 1812)
Simia albifrons Humboldt, 1812
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 is referable to the untufted group, and Sapajus Kerr, 1792 is the name available for the tufted capuchins. 

Hershkovitz (1949) listed thirteen subspecies of Cebus albifrons (Humboldt, 1812) as follows: C. albifrons albifrons Humboldt, 1812, from the banks of the Orinoco, near the mouth of the Río Ventuari; C. a. hypoleucus Humboldt, 1812, from the Río Sinu, Bolívar, Colombia; C. a. malitiosus Elliot, 1904, from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia;C. a. cesarae Hershkovitz, 1949, from the Río Cesar, Magdalena valley, Colombia; C. a. pleei Hershkovitz, 1949, from Mompós, west bank of the Río Magdalena, at the base of the northern extremity of the Cordillera Central, Colombia; C. a. versicolor Pucheran, 1917, from the middle Río Magdalena, Colombia; C. a. leucocephalus Gray, 1865, considered by Hershkovitz to be from the Rio Lebrija, Santander, Colombia; C. a. adustus Hershkovitz, 1949, from the eastern base of the Sierra de Perijá in Venezuela and Colombia; C. a. unicolor Spix, 1823, from the Rio Tefé, Amazonas, Brazil; C. albifrons yuracus Hershkovitz, 1949, from the Ríos Marañón and Napo, eastern Ecuador and northern Peru;C. a. cuscinus Gray 1901, from the upper Río Madre de Dios, Peru; C. a. aequatorialis Allen, 1921, from north-western Ecuador (and probably also the Tumbes region in northern Peru [Encarnación and Cook 1998]); and C. a. trinitatis Von Pusch 1941, from Trinidad. Hernández-Camacho and Cooper (1976) examined those proposed by Hershkovitz (1949) and came to the following conclusions. 1. C. a. malitiosus is a well-defined subspecies of the northern slopes of the Santa Marta Mountains. 2. C. a. cesarae, light coloured, is a well-defined subspecies occurring in the Department of Magdalena, southward from Ciénaga Grande, and the lowlands of the Department of Cesar, north to the deciduous and gallery forests of the Río Ranchería, Department of Guajira. 3. C. a. versicolor is a complex of forms from the Cauca-Magdalena interfluvium, including, besides C. a. versicolor(intermediate phase), C. a. leucocephalus (dark phase) and C. a. pleei (light phase). 4. C. a. adustus probably occurs in piedmont forests of western Arauca, the northern tip of Boyacá and north Santander, besides the Lake Maracaibo region and upper Apure basin of Venezuela. 5. C. a. unicolor, widespread in the upper Amazon, is very similar to the type species, and a junior synonym of C. a. albifrons (confirmed with further study [Defler and Hernández-Camacho 2002]). 

Groves (2001, 2005), influenced by Hernández-Camacho and Cooper (1976), reduced the number of subspecies to six: C. albifrons albifronsC. a. cuscinus (yuracus as a junior synonym), C. a. unicolorC. a. trinitatisC. a. aequatorialis, and C. a. versicolor (leucocephalusmalitiosusadustuscesarae and pleei as synonyms). Groves (2001) considered that the differences between cesarae and pleei were insufficient to separate them. Silva Jr. (2001) did not recognize any subspecific variation in Cebus albifrons

Groves (2001, 2005) listed Cebus albifrons unicolor Spix, 1823. Defler and Hernández-Camacho (2002) established a neotype for C. a. albifrons, and argued that C. a. unicolor was a junior synonym (see also Defler 2004). 

Defler (2004) listed and described five subspecies for mainland Colombia: 1) Cebus albifrons albifrons (Humboldt, 1812) (C. a. unicolor a synonym), 2) Cebus albifrons yuracus Hershkovitz, 1949 (considered a synonym of C. a. cuscinus Thomas, 1901, by Groves [2001]); 3) Cebus albifrons malitiosus Elliot, 1909 (considered a synonym of C. a. versicolor Pucheran, 1845, by Groves [2001]), Cebus albifrons cesarae Hershkovitz, 1949 (considered a synonym of C. a. versicolor Pucheran, 1845, by Groves [2001]), Cebus albifrons versicolor Pucheran, 1845 (with C. a. leucocephalus Gray 1865 and C. a. pleei Hershkovitz, 1949, as synonyms). 

Based on molecular genetic studies by Lynch Alfaro et al. (2010) and Boubli et al. (2012) all six subspecies previously recognized and included under Cebus albifrons are now considered species. These include:  (1) aequatorialis Allen, 1914, (2) cesarae Hershkovitz, 1949, (3) cuscinus Thomas, 1901,  (4) malitiosus Elliot, 1909, (5) versicolor Pucheran, 1845, and (6) yuracus Hershkovitz, 1949. Thus the nominate subspecies effectively becomes the new concept of C. albifrons. The 7th subspecies trinitatis Von Pusch, 1941 is now placed into synonymy under Cebus brunneus Allen, 1914.

Cebus a. hypoleucas (Humboldt, 1912) is included in synonymy under this. This form has not been recognized in any recent reviews nor by Hershkowitz in 1949. Thomas R. Defler and J. Hernandez-Camacho (2002) "The true  identity and characteristics of Simia albifronsHumboldt, 1812: Description of neotype" discusses the taxonomy and nomenclature of C. a. albifrons and C. a. unicolorC. a. unicolor is widespread in the the Amazon basin and the conclusion of these authors is that C. a. unicolor is a synonym of C. a. albifrons.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2008-07-01
Assessor(s): de la Torre, S., Morales, A. L., Link, A. & Cornejo, F.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B.
This species is listed as Least Concern due to its wide range, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be undergoing a decline that would warrant listing in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil (Acre, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima); Colombia (Colombia (mainland)); Peru; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of (Venezuela (mainland))
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-3. Available at: (Accessed: 7 September 2015).

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-1. Available at: (Accessed: 27 April 2017).

Citation: de la Torre, S., Morales, A. L., Link, A. & Cornejo, F. 2015. Cebus albifrons. (errata version published in 2017) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T39951A115173470. . Downloaded on 20 September 2017.
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