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Blue monkeys live in social systems where females stay in their natal groups while males disperse once they reach adulthood. As a result, blue monkey groups usually consist of one male with several females and infants, giving rise to matrilinear societies. Occasionally, solitary males are observed which are probably transient, having left their natal group in search of a new group.
The blue monkey is found in evergreen forests and montane bamboo forests, and lives largely in the forest canopy, coming to the ground infrequently. It is very dependent on humid, shady areas with plenty of water. It eats mainly fruit and leaves, but will take some slower-moving invertebrates. It prefers to live in tall trees which provide both food and shelter, and is therefore, like almost all guenons, suffering from the loss of its natural habitat. Where pine plantations replace natural forest the monkey may be treated as a threat by foresters, since it sometimes strips the bark from exotic trees in a search for food or moisture. It is also hunted for bushmeat.