White-faced saki monkey

Pithecia pithecia

White-faced saki monkeys live in tropical rainforests up to 2,300 feet in southern and eastern Venezuela, in the Guianas and in northeastern Brazil. They are omnivores who primarily eat fruit. Saki monkeys are small monkeys native to northern and central South America. Sakis are diurnal (active during the day) and arboreal (they rarely descend from the tree canopy to the ground).

White-faced saki monkey behavior and facts

  • White-faced sakis eat fruit, principally berries. They also forage for honey, leaves and flowers, and prey on small mammals and birds. They have been observed going into hollow trees to retrieve roosting bats. They tear the bats apart and skin them before eating.
  • They prefer living in the middle levels of a forest, preferably one that is not flooded. They sometimes descend from the canopy to the shrub layer for feeding.
  • Sakis move on all fours, but occasionally run on their back legs along horizontal branches. Their legs are much longer than their arms and are adapted for making long, downward leaps within or between trees. Sakis thumbs are pseudo-opposable, reaching partway but not fully to its other digits.
  • Sakis sleep coiled on open branches like a cat.
  • These monkeys are usually seen alone or in pairs; a family group is no more than five.

From birth to death

  • Gestation: 163 to 167 days
  • Birth: A single young is born in November or December;
  • Infants cling to their mother's belly, then to her back. They stop clinging after 6 months.
  • Lifespan: in captivity, longest recorded is 35 years

Vital statistics

  • Length:
  • Males 14 to 19 inches with a 12 to 20-inch tail
  • Females 12 to 16.5 inches with a 10 to 21-inch tail
  • Weight:
  • Males 3.5 pounds
  • Females 3 pounds


CITES Appendix II

White-faced saki monkeys, the Oregon Zoo and you

At the zoo, these monkeys live in the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit. They eat fruits, monkey chow and vegetables. White-faced saki are hunted for food and captured for pets but are not currently endangered or threatened.