White-faced saki (Pithecia pithecia)

White-faced Saki

Within Life Among the Trees, behind Marwell Hall and mized with our silvery marmosets and golden headed lion tamarins.

Fast facts

Status Least Concern

Size Head and body length= 33-38cm. Tail length= 33-45cm long. Males are bigger and heavier than females.

Weight 1.4-1.7kg

Gestation 5 ½ months

Young 1

Life span 15 years in the wild, around 20 years in captivity.

What do I eat?

White-faced sakis will go in search of food (forage) during the day when they are most active. These monkeys will mostly feed on seeds and leaves, but have also been known to eat fruit, flowers, fungi, and insects.

Sakis have specialised teeth (dentition) with canine teeth reaching around 2.5mm long, which they will use to break open unripe and tough fruits to get to the seeds inside. They can get inside these fruits very quickly and efficiently. This way of feeding has allowed sakis to be able to find food in most areas of the Amazon forest.

Where do I live?

These monkeys are found in southern and eastern Venezuela, Guianas and north eastern Brazil in South America.

They prefer to live in habitats such as tropical rainforests and mature forests. These areas give sakis many trees to climb and places to find food, as these animals are mostly arboreal (live in trees).


White-faced sakis are social animals that live in small family groups, which are usually made up of parents and their offspring.

Sakis will give birth to a single baby. The baby will cling on to their mother’s thigh until around 1 month old, and then they will move to hold on to the mother’s back and will be carried until around 4 months old. By the time the young is 5 months old they will stop being carried. Older siblings in the group have been seen helping to care for the newborn, but it is the mother that looks after the young the most.

White-faced sakis are mature by around 2 ½ - 3 years old.


At this time there are no conservation projects in place for the white-faced saki in the wild, as many are found in protected areas across its range.

These monkeys can be found in zoos worldwide and are linked with many captive breeding projects to protect the species in captivity.

Did you know?

Sakis do not grab branches using their index finger and thumb like humans would; instead they use their index finger and the middle finger.

These monkeys have three fingers on one side of their hand and a finger and thumb on the other side.

It is easy to tell the males and females apart. Males will have a black coat with a white to reddish coloured forehead, face and throat. Whereas the females are mostly brown to brownish grey in colour with pale reddish brown stripes from their eyes to the corners of their mouth.


Check our ticket prices or...

Book tickets online

Group Visits

Everyone had a brilliant time

The children's centre have been to Marwell many times and our families always enjoy itKenyngton Manor Children's Centre, 20th May 2015