Night monkeys are a fascinating family of Neo-Tropical primates, with 11 known species they range from Central through tropical South America. As their name suggests they are nocturnal and most sightings come when someone has found their day roost, often in a tre hole on dense vegetation they spend the daylight hours sleeping and can be seen as they peer out of their holes to look at you, looking back at them.

Camera traps are revealing more and more behaviour from these secretive primates and one species in particular the Spix’s night monkey (Aotus vociferans) is being studied with camera traps in Ecuador. The Spix’s night monkey is found in the forests of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. They are quite small monkeys, weighing around 1kg as adults. They have distinctive large brown eyes which have evolved as an adaptation to their nocturnal lifestyles and compared to diurnal primates, they have a better spatial resolution at low light levels which helps them move through the trees at night.

Night Monkey Family – Colombia

Spix’s night monkey live in small family groups which are usually made up of a breeding pair and their offspring of various ages until they reach sexual maturity and look for their own mate. Like many species of South American primates they are monogamous and use olfactory cues to find mates, often by urinating on their hands and then rubbing them on different surfaces to show sexual attraction. They will give birth to one offspring at a time and the male assumes most of the parental care (another trait of many South American primate species. The Spix’s night monkey is a very adaptable species, thriving even in disturbed habitats. It is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN.

You can see Spix’s night monkeys on many of Royle Safaris trips to Ecuador, however we have other trips to other South American destinations where you can see many other species of primates. Our range of primate watching holidays is the largest in the world, with dozens of monkeys, lemurs, apes, lorises, tarsiers and galagos all targeted throughout the world’s best primate watching locations.

South America has a wealth of primate species and we have a range of trips to see many, including various species of night monkey. So if you are inspired to learn more about the Spix’s night monkey and see them in the wild you can contact us or check out our range of Primate Tours

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