Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey

Saimiri boliviensis

Scientific Name

Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey:  
Saimiri boliviensis

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

These monkeys are found in Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Columbia, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Bolivia, Peru and Brazil.

Natural Habitat

Found primarily in the tropical rainforest lowlands, they can live in a variety of habitats, including edge forests, undisturbed and selective logged tropical forest, swamps and mangroves.

Physical Characteristics

  • Squirrel monkeys average 9-15 inches in length and can weigh one to three pounds.  They have short, dense fur.  Their face is white, their ears, throat, head , back and legs are yellow to gray-green.  Their under parts are yellow to white.  Infants have a prehensile tail but adults lose this ability, using their long tail for balancing while jumping through the trees.  Adult tails may be as long as 14 inches in length.


Quick Facts

  1. Squirrel monkeys are arboreal and rarely come to the ground.  They are active during the day and move from tree to tree searching for food.


  2. They are excellent climbers and leapers and can travel long distances through the forest running along and leaping between branches.


M&T Bank Rainforest Falls

Conservation Status

Least Concern: The Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey is common or abundant and is likely to survive in the wild.

Help Us End Extinction

Adoption is simple. Show how much you care about animals all year round by selecting your favorite animal from our adoption list.



Squirrel monkeys are frugivorous (fruit eaters) and insectivorous (insect eating). They will also eat mollusks, small vertebrates, nuts and leaves. At the Zoo, squirrel monkeys are fed canned primate diet, fruits, vegetables and insects.