Vervet Monkey

Vervet monkey Black face

COMMON NAME: Vervet Monkey


SCIENTIFIC NAME: Chlorocebus pygerythrus

TYPE: Mammals

FOOD: Omnivorous (Fruit, berries, flowers, bark, insects, nestlings, small mammals)

HABITAT: Savannnah and bush riverine forests

SIZE: 1.1 m ( 3.6 ft) 




WEIGHT: 3 to 5 kilograms (6 to 11 pounds)

Vervet Monkey

(Chlorocebus pygerythrus)

About the Black Faced Vervet Monkey

Vervet monkeys are common primates found in Tanzania and Kenya. Male Vervets weigh around 6kg (13 lbs) and measure 1.1 m (3.6 ft) in length, while their female counterparts weigh lesser (4 kg or 8.8 lbs) and are slightly smaller in comparison. Vervet Monkeys have a silver-grey coloured body and their faces are black in colour. They have white ridged eyebrows on their dark faces so are their feet and on the tips of their tails.

Adult male genitals of the Vervet Monkeys have vivid colours like blue scrotum and red male genitalia (penis). This vivid colouring on their sexual organs signals their sexual status.

These Vervet monkeys live in large packs all over the East African savannah of Tanzania and Kenya.

Vervet Monkey Diet

Vervet Monkeys eat almost anything edible hence their diet can be described as more of an omnivorous one. Their feeding habits includes fruits, flowers, leaves and insects.

Primates with the inclusion of Vervet Monkeys are blessed with colour vision. Colour vision among Mammals is a rare trait and this advantage enables Vervet monkeys to differentiate between unripe and ripe fruits.

Breeding in Vervet Monkeys

The Vervets are classified as seasonal breeders, a period that falls in between the months of September to February where baby Vervets are born. The gestation period of a Vervet Monkey lasts for 165 days. More breeding occurs when there is abundance of food.

Social Behaviour

Vervet Monkeys exhibit a highly social behaviour living in a well-organized system of troops that is often led and headed by male. Females Vervets do not abandon the troops where they were born and bred into, unlike male Vervets that move away from their troops at puberty in search of greener pastures and breeding.

Best Place to See Vervet Monkeys in Tanzania  & Kenya

The vervet monkey is a common feature in all the National parks of Northern Tanzania and Kenya, namely: Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire, lake manyara other Southern Tanzania national parks and Gombe Stream National Park in western Tanzania.

Vervet Monkey Adventure Safaris

Frequently asked questions

FAQs About Vervet Monkey Adventure

How long does a vervet monkey live?

Vervet monkey can survive 12 years in the wild and up to 24 years sometimes up to 30 years in captivity.

What do vervet monkeys eat?

The vervet monkey is omnivorous although it eats a primarily herbivorous diet, living mostly on wild fruits, flowers, leaves, seeds, and seed pods. sometimes it eats insects and small mammals.

How do vervet monkeys communicate?

vervet monkeys communicate through high pitched squeals to indicate distress and when there is danger e.g when a leapoard approaches they communicate through short tonal calls to warn other vervet monkeys climb to high branches where the heavier leopard cannot reach.

How much does a vervet monkey cost as a pet?

Even though the best habitat for the vervet monkey is its natural habitat, they can be kept as pets however because of their intelligence and companionship, it is for these characteristics that a vervet monkey is a both challenging and rewarding pet. Vervet Monkeys in the U. S may cost between $4,000 and $8,000 each, depending on the monkey’s age, rarity and other factors

How many types of monkey do we have?

There are more than 260 different types of monkeys split into two main categories: The New World and Old World. monkeys The New World monkeys live in the Americas, while Old World monkeys live in Asia and Africa.

Why are monkeys balls blue?

For social status, the vervet monkey has a vivid-blue scrotum or balls which pales when the animal falls in social rank. The the blue colour is due to Tyndall scattering over a layer of melanin.

Do monkeys eat meat?

Most Monkeys are omnivorous in nature and eat just about anything edible. The can eat meat and plants alike. Most monkeys eat nuts, fruits, insects, seeds and flowers. Some monkeys also eat other small mammals and eggs too. vervet monkeys can also eat, small lizards, insects, and spiders.

Do Vervet monkeys have periods?

Vervet monkeys have not been observed to have periods but most monkeys living in Africa and Asia, such as rhesus macaques, and great apes menstruate too. Menstruation bleeding is easily detectable in chimpanzees and gibbons. However, gorillas and orang-utans bleed less copiously, so menstrual bleeding can only be visible on closer inspection.

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