Black-and-white colobuses (or colobi) are Old World monkey
The Old World monkeys or Cercopithecidae are a group of primates, falling in the superfamily Cercopithecoidea in the clade Catarrhini. The Old World monkeys are native to Africa and Asia today, inhabiting a range of environments from tropical rain forest to savanna, shrubland and mountainous...
s of the genus Colobus
, native to Africa. They are closely related to the brown colobus monkeys of genus Piliocolobus. The word "colobus" comes from Greek
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...
κολοβός kolobós ("maimed"), and is so named because its thumb is a stump.
Colobuses are herbivorous, eating leaves, fruit, flowers, and twigs. Their habitat includes primary and secondary forest, riverine forest, and wooded grasslands; they are found more in higher density logged forests than in other primary forests. Their ruminant-like digestive systems have enabled these leaf-eaters to occupy niches that are inaccessible to other primates.
Colobuses live in territorial groups of approximately nine individuals, based upon a single male with a number of females and their offspring. Newborn colobuses are completely white. There are documented cases of allomothering
Allomothering, or non-maternal infant care, can be performed by males such as a child’s father, non-reproductive males in polyandrous systems, or older siblings interested in abetting their own genetic material via their siblings ....
, which means members of the troop other than the infant's biological mother care for it.
Colobuses are important for seed dispersal through their sloppy eating habits as well as through their digestive system. They are prey for many forest predators and are threatened by hunting for the bushmeat
Bushmeat initially referred to the hunting of wild animals in West and Central Africa and is a calque from the French viande de brousse. Today the term is commonly used for meat of terrestrial wild animals, killed for subsistence or commercial purposes throughout the humid tropics of the Americas,...
trade, logging, and habitat destruction.
There are five species of this monkey, with at least eight subspecies:
- Genus Colobus
- Black colobus
The black colobus or Satanic black colobus is an Old World monkey belonging to the Colobus genus. This monkey is considered by some to be the most primitive of the colobus monkeys. The black colobus has dark skin under a long black coat of fur and a long black tail...
, Colobus satanas
- Gabon black colobus, Colobus satanas anthracinus
- Bioko black colobus, Colobus satanas satanas
- Angola colobus
The Angola colobus, Angolan black-and-white colobus or Angolan colobus is an arboreal Old World monkey belonging to the Colobus genus....
, Colobus angolensis
- Sclater’s Angola colobus, Colobus angolensis angolensis
- Powell-Cotton’s Angola colobus, Colobus angolensis cottoni
- Adolf Friedrichs’s Angola colobus, or Ruwenzori black-and-white colobus, Colobus angolensis ruwenzorii
- Cordier’s Angola colobus, Colobus angolensis cordieri
- Prigogine's Angola colobus, Colobus angolensis prigoginei
- Peters's Angola colobus
The Peters's Angola colobus also known as Peter's Angola colobus or Tanzanian black-and-white colobus, is a subspecies of angola colobus...
or Tanzanian black-and-white colobus, Colobus angolensis palliatus
- King colobus
The king colobus , also known as the western black-and-white colobus, is a species of Old World monkey, found in lowland and mountain rain forests in a region stretching between Gambia and Côte d'Ivoire within Africa. It eats mainly leaves, but also fruits and flowers. Though it is arboreal, it...
, Colobus polykomos
- Ursine colobus
The ursine colobus is a species of primate in the Cercopithecidae family. It is found in Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo, as well as very southernmost Burkina Faso...
, Colobus vellerosus
- Mantled guereza
The mantled guereza , also known simply as the guereza, the eastern black-and-white colobus, or the Abyssinian black-and-white colobus, is a black and white colobus monkey, a kind of Old World monkey...
or Abyssinian black-and-white colobus, Colobus guereza'