Putty nosed Guenon

Putty nosed GuenonPutty nosed guenons are the largest of the African forest guenons. Their extremely long tail (up to 1 meter) assists with balance as they negotiate the upper canopy of the rainforest. Although generally considered a high canopy species, they are somewhat adaptable in their choice of habitat and can be observed in middle and lower canopy swamp forest as well as upper canopy high forest. They form multi-species foraging groups with other primates, including red-eared and mona guenons.

Their distinctive bright white nose and chest stand out in stark contrast to the dark black (grizzled with green) head, body and tail. They are easily identified by the distinctive “peow” territorial loud call of the male. Recent research has discovered that male putty nosed guenons may combine ‘peow’ calls with ‘hack’ calls in different ways when faced with threats by different types of predators (crowned eagles versus leopards).

Classification of putty nosed guenons is currently under debate. Traditionally, scientists recognized three subspecies of putty nose guenons, Cercopithecus nictitans nictitansC. n. martini and C. n. stampflii. A new subspecies, C. n. ludio is now being proposed for the species found in Cross River State, part of an area known as the Cameroon faunal region. Apart from their distinctive white markings, they also have a rust-red sub-caudal patch which is absent in other sub-species.

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