Black-and-white colobus

Latin Name
Colobus guereza




The black-and-white colobus can reach 28 inches in length, not including tails as long as 35 inches. Males can weigh 30 pounds, females can reach 20 pounds. The thumb on this primate is nearly absent. They have a glossy black coat, with a face and rump accented by white hair. Young are born all white, changing color as they age. The point of their noses nearly touches their mouths.



Black-and-white colobus are found across much of equatorial Africa.


Logging and habitat conversion for farming are the major threats to all habitats that support this species. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Colobus Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


They occupy the uppermost canopy of tropical forests, woodlands and wooded grassland (where they may feed and travel on the ground if there isn't a continuous pathway of trees). They can be found in lowlands and at high elevations. Black-and-white colobus are most abundant in secondary forests or along rivers.


With a complex digestive system, these primates are designed to process leaves, but they also eat fruit and occasional flowers, twigs, buds, seeds, shoots and insects. Fruit makes up about a third of their diet. Black-and-white colobus are diurnal (active during the day) and arboreal (tree dwellers).

Life History
  • Black-and-white colobus live in troops of as many as nine individuals. Their home range is about 40 acres, including a preferred area from which other groups are chased but not permanently excluded. Visual and vocal displays occur when groups meet, and loud nocturnal and dawn choruses by adult males serve to space out groups.
  • Single young are born after a six-month gestation. Offspring are produced about every 20 months. Maturity occurs at about five years.

Bonus Content

Home Sweet Monochrome
For Lincoln Park Zoo’s black-and-white colobus family, life had been a black and white affair—until a fuzzy, white newcomer arrived fully monochromatic.


Black-and-white colobus Zambezi was among the top dads featured on Father's Day

Father's Day Slideshow
As people celebrated dads of all shapes and sizes, we took a look at some of the top fathers at Lincoln Park Zoo.



ARKive Media

ARKive video - Guereza - overviewARKive image - Mt. Kilimanjaro guereza,  <i>C. g. caudatus</i>, in treeARKive image - Mount Kilimanjaro guereza,  <i>C. g. caudatus</i>

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