Animal Database

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Animal Database
Animal Database
Sooty Mangabey
Cercocebus atys
Common Name White-crowned Mangabey, White-naped Mangabey and White-collared Mangabey
Range Senegal east to Ghana.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Primates
Family Cercopithecidae
Genus Cercocebus
Species Cercocebus atys
Conservation Status

The Sooty mangabey (Cercocebus atys), also known as the White-crowned mangabey, White-naped mangabey and White-collared mangabey (leading to easy confusion with the Collared mangabey), is a species of Old World monkey found in forests from Senegal east to Ghana. While overall rated as Vulnerable, the eastern race lunulatus, it is considered Endangered by the IUCN.

Habitat and Ecology[]

The sooty mangabey lives in both old growth and secondary forests as well as in flooded, dry, swamp, mangrove, and gallery forests. The mangabey is arboreal and diurnal. They are omnivores whose diet includes primarily w:c:plant:fruits and seeds, sometimes feeding on small animals. They live in social groups of four to twelve individuals, but occasionally groups as large as 95 individuals have been recorded.


There are two distinctive subspecies of this mangabey, and it is possible they should be considered separate species. Both were formerly considered subspecies of a widespread Collared mangabey.

Cercocebus atys atys
White-collared (or White-crowned) Mangabey (Cercocebus atys lunulatus)


Sooty mangabeys are naturally infected with a strain of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), known as SIVsmm. Due to extensive human-mangabey contact in sub-Saharan Africa, SIVsmm has jumped from this species into humans on multiple occasions, resulting in HIV-2 virus. The HIV-1 strain by contrast came from the Common chimpanzee strain of SIV.

The sooty mangabey can also contract leprosy, as can humans, the Nine-banded armadillo, the common chimpanzee, and the crab-eating macaque.