Skip to main content

Grouping of the wild spider monkey


Ateles generally lives in small temporary subgroups. The authors studied the grouping of the monkey for two months and obtained data concerning the subgroup size, composition, and inter-individual relationships. In general, the data agreed with that obtained byKlein (1972). However, they discovered that large subgroups of the monkey were observed only in relation to the utilization of a special place, the “salado” site. The authors discuss the reason for this. Criticism is given ofKlein's suggestions that the unique grouping ofAteles is a form of social adaptation to its palm-fruit eating behavior and that peripheral males exist in its social structure.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Cant, J. G., 1978. Population survey of the spider monkey,Ateles geoffroyi at Tikal, Guatemala.Primates, 19: 525–535.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Carpenter, C. R., 1935. Behavior of red spider monkeys in Panama.J. Mammal., 16: 171–180.

    Google Scholar 

  • Durham, N. M., 1971. Effects of altitude differences on group organization of wild black spider monkeys (Ateles paniscus). In:Proceedings of 3rd Congress of the International Primatological Society, Vol. 3,H. Kummer (ed.), S. Karger, Basel, pp. 32–40.

    Google Scholar 

  • ————, 1975. Some ecological distributional, and group behavioral features of Atelinae in southern Peru: with comments on interspecific relations. In:Socioecology and Psychology of Primates,R. H. Tuttle (ed.), Mouton, the Hague.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hernández-Camacho, J. &R. W. Cooper, 1976. The non-human primates of Colombia. In:Neotropical Primates—Field Studies and Conservation,R. W. Thorington &P. G. Heltne (eds.), National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., pp. 35–69.

    Google Scholar 

  • Itani, J., 1972.Reichôrui no Shakaikôzô (The social structure of primates). Kyoritsu-shuppan, Tokyo. (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Izawa, K., 1975. Foods and feeding behavior of monkeys in the Upper Amazon Basin.Primates, 16: 295–316.

    Google Scholar 

  • ————, 1976. Group sizes and compositions of monkeys in the Upper Amazon Basin.Primates, 17: 367–399.

    Google Scholar 

  • ————, 1977a. Palm-fruit cracking behavior of wild black-capped capuchin (Cebus apella).Primates, 18: 773–792.

    Google Scholar 

  • ————, 1977b. Behavior of black-capped capuchin.Monkey, 21(1–2): 22–29. (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  • ————, 1978. Frog-eating behavior of wild black-capped capuchin (Cebus apella).Primates, 19: 631–640.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • ————, 1979. Foods and feeding behaviors of wild black-capped capuchin (Cebus apella).Primates, 20: 57–76.

    Google Scholar 

  • Klein, L. L., 1972. The ecology and social organization of the spider monkey,Ateles belzebuth. Thesis, Univ. of California.

  • Mizuno, A., 1976. Four Cebidae species—How to make their living in Orinoco.Monkey, 20(1–2): 38–49. (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Nishida, T., 1968. The social group of wild chimpanzees in the Mahali Mountains.Primates, 9: 167–224.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


About this article

Cite this article

Izawa, K., Kimura, K. & Nieto, A.S. Grouping of the wild spider monkey. Primates 20, 503–512 (1979).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Social Structure
  • Eating Behavior
  • Animal Ecology
  • Special Place
  • Spider Monkey