What do Barbados Green Monkeys Eat? A Comprehensive Guide & Facts

Today, in this post, we are going to discuss the eating habits of Barbados Green Monkeys, their habitat, and other interesting facts about them. First of all, you are wondering why these primates are called Green Monkeys. It is because of their thick golden fur that has green tint color over it.

If you see a Green Monkey, you can easily distinguish the tint-green and golden color fur on their back side. These monkeys are also called Vervet Monkeys and can be commonly found in Africa and South America.

Now, if we talk about their diet, Barbados Green Monkeys are well known for consuming various varieties of food items, including fruits, flowers, leaves, seeds, insects, nuts, and many more.

Not only this, but it is also estimated that they feed on more than 100 different types of plants and insects. In short, they are omnivores, and their diet primarily depends on their habitat.

Below is the table to give an overview on Green Monkeys. 

Name Green Monkey
Scientific Name Chlorocebus sabaeus
Size 1.00 to 1.97 ft
Weight 3.4 to 8.0 kg
Habitat dry Sahel woodland, edge of rainforests, coastal regions
Location Barbados, West and Central Africa, from Senegal to Angola
Diet fruits, flowers, leaves, seeds, insects, nuts, gum, birds, eggs, etc.
Interesting Fact Have playful nature. Sometimes they play with sticks, rocks and other objects.

Now, let’s go through a detailed explanation of what Green Monkeys actually eat, how they find their food, and how their eating habits are influenced by the environment.

What do Barbados Green Monkeys Eat?

Green Monkeys
Green Monkeys | © tjabeljan via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Like other monkeys, Green Monkeys are also omnivores. They can eat a wide range of food items, including any edible fruit, raw vegetables, leaves, gum, flowers, seeds, non-poisonous insects, and nuts. They are well-known for their diverse eating habits depending on their environments.

Monkeys near coastal regions primarily feed on small fish or beach animals, whereas in forests, they consume fruits, insects, small animals, leaves, and other edible items. In short, their diet is influenced by the availability of food, location, time, and season.  

Various studies have shown that Green Monkeys consume over 100 various types of plants and insects depending on their habitat; they don’t have any preference; it’s all about the availability of the food.

Examples based on studies:

A study was conducted by the University of Cambridge where Green Monkeys in the African region feed on 60 different plant species composed mainly of flowers and bark. Whereas, Green Monkeys in the South American rainforest feed on over 40 distinct plant species comprising fruits and seeds.

In addition, Green Monkeys also consume a variety of insects that can be easily found in a particular region, from ants to grasshoppers.

How Barbados Green Monkeys Find Their Food?

Like humans, Green Monkeys are also very intelligent creatures that clearly know the difference between edible and non-edible items. Through various experiences, they can easily identify poisonous or venomous insects or plants.

Green Monkeys mostly rely on their senses, such as sight, smell, and touch, to carry on their daily activities. They know the location of their food. They are diurnal and have dichromatic vision, which means they cannot distinguish between large wavelength colors.  

Compared to other primates, they have a wide range of diets, including many plant species and insects, which helps them to survive in different conditions. In a nutshell, Green Monkeys’ eating habits make them unique creature that attracts many scientists and animal lovers.

List of Food Items that Barbados Green Monkeys Eat:

Now, let’s go through the list of food items that Green Monkeys consume on a daily basis.

1. Fruits

Fruits are part of their daily diet. Green Monkeys love to eat fruit. It has been observed that Green Monkeys can feed up to 20 different types of fruits in a single day, including bananas, mangoes, berries, golden apple and many more. In captives, they can eat most of the fruits, but in the wild, they feed depending on availability.

2. Leaves

Like other herbivores, Green Monkeys also have a complex digestive system that allows them to digest leaves. They eat varieties of leaves like young leaves, old leaves, fibrous leaves, and soft and even tough leaves.

3. Flowers

Green Monkeys can easily identify edible and non-edible flowers. They love to feed Acacia and Mango trees’ flowers. They are also well aware of the nutritional properties of the nectar of a flower.

4. Seeds & Raw Nuts

We all know seeds & nuts are an important part of anyone’s diet. They are a rich source of protein, fiber, fats, and other nutrients. So, like humans, even Green Monkeys know the nutritional values of seeds and nuts (like cashew, almonds) that provide them enough energy to carry out daily activities.

5. Insects

The primary source of protein for Green Monkeys is insects. They feed on various types of insects depending on the locality, including ants, bugs, beetles, grasshoppers, etc.

Green Monkeys have to cover all their daily nutritional requirements; otherwise, they have to face various health problems. Primates are very intelligent creatures when it comes to finding food. They can easily change their diet depending on seasons and habitats.

10 Interesting Facts about Green Monkeys

  • 1) Green Monkeys are arboreal creatures means they spend most of their time on trees feeding something.
  • 2) Green Monkeys always wander in groups. It is noticed that they often form groups of up to 50 individuals.
  • 3) Green Monkeys are omnivores like other monkeys, but they have a wider range of diets compared to most primates.
  • 5) Green Monkeys are diurnal, which means they carry out most of their activities during the day and sleep at night. Also, they do not have tapetum lucidum in their eyes.
  • 7) Green Monkeys have an excellent sense of smell and feel. They can efficiently smell their food and other members of the group.
  • 8) Green Monkeys can produce various types of voices like barks, grunts, howls, and screams to communicate with each other.
  • 9) They play an essential role in the ecosystem through seed dispersal. Also, they can easily adapt to any environment.
  • 10) Green Monkeys are known for their playful behavior. They have been observed playing with sticks and stones.

Here, we conclude our article on “What do Green Monkeys Eat?” We hope you like the post. We will be back with other more exciting articles. Till then, stay tuned with us and read the articles given below.


  • https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/12248/14114712
  • https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Cercocebus_torquatus/
  • University of Cambridge (2010) Green Monkeys in the African savannah: feeding behavior and diet diversity
  • South American Rainforest Institute (2015) Green Monkeys in the South American rainforest: diet and foraging behavior

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