Allen's swamp monkey

Allenopithecus nigroviridis

Allen's swamp monkeys live in the lowland forests of the central Congolian basin. They are herbivores. The species name, nigroviridis, refers to the color of the monkey: nigro means black; viridis means green (though some appear to be closer to yellow).

Swamp monkey behavior and facts

  • Swamp monkeys forage on the ground and in shallow water. They eat fruit, leaves and small invertebrates. They may also raid crops.
  • They are arboreal (living in trees) and diurnal (active during the day).
  • Male monkeys are larger than females.
  • They live in groups of up to 40, including several adult males.
  • Predators include raptors, snakes and bonobos. Swamp monkeys can dive into the water to avoid predators.

From birth to death

  • Females give birth to one infant.
  • Lifespan: 23 years in captivity

Vital statistics

  • Weight: 7.7 to 13 pounds
  • Length: 18 to 20 inches
  • Tail: 19 to 20 inches


CITES Appendix II

Swamp monkeys, the Oregon Zoo and you

At the Oregon Zoo, swamp monkeys live in the Africa Rainforest exhibit. They eat monkey chow, fruits and vegetables. Zookeepers find them to be active, inquisitive and adept at taking things apart. In the wild, swamp monkeys are hunted for food and commercial purposes. Research is needed to assess the degree of pressure from hunting. The swamp monkeys show impressive puzzle solving ability and very dexterous hands. They like manipulating objects like metal nuts, bolts and washers and digging in the dirt and grass to forage.


Dannon is a female Allen's swamp monkey born in August 1990 at the San Diego Zoo. She arrived at the Oregon Zoo in April 1994 on a loan...


Bleu is a female Allen's swamp monkey born on September 28, 2002 at the Oregon Zoo. Her mother is Dannon...