The average body mass for an adult male Abyssinian black-and-white colobus monkey is around 14.5 kilograms, and for the female it is around 6.2 kilograms. This is a sexually dimorphic species. The pelage color is black with white hair encircling the face that goes down the back. The tail of this species is long and white colored. The infants are born all white then start turning at about 3 months. In the perineal region males have a white semicircle of hair and females have a white semicircle bisected by a black line. This species has a sacculated stomach to assist in the breakdown of cellulose.
The Abyssinian black-and-white colobus monkey is primarily a folivorous species, but it also consumes termite clay, fruits, and flowers. Group sizes range from about 10 to 15 individuals. This is a diurnal species. This is an arboreal species. This species obtains much of its water from the food it eats.
The Abyssinian black-and-white colobus monkey moves through the forest quadrupedally (Fleagle, 1988). This species also is capable of leaping where it uses this in communication and to avoid predators (Estes, 1991). This species climbs downward head first and climbing up it uses its hindlegs to propel it up the trunk (Estes, 1991).
The basic social structure of Abyssinian black-and-white colobus monkey is a group of related females with their offspring and a territorial male (Estes, 1991). Troops do accept other males, but multimale troops are rare (Estes, 1991). The males of this species disperse (Estes, 1991). This is a highly territorial species. Infants of the group, especially when they are still white are handled not only by the mother but by adult and subadult females and sometimes by subadult males (Estes, 1991).
|yawn: This is where the mouth is open to expose the teeth, and is done in a series of 2 to 3 yawns (Estes, 1991). This display is performed by adult males and females (Estes, 1991). This is used as a threat display between males during intertroop encounters and also used as a sign of tension (Estes, 1991).
stare: This is where the head is up and the individual is gazing at the intended receiver. This display may occur with forward threat and is performed by adult males (Estes, 1991). This is either a threat signal or of territorial vigilance directed towards another troop (Estes, 1991).
forward threat: This is when an individual crouches on its hands and feet with the head extended and occurs with stare (Estes, 1991). This display is performed by adult males and is used as a threat display (Estes, 1991).
stiff-legs display: This is where the individual is sitting with the legs pointed downward with knees slightly flexed and the feet unsupported and is held for 1 to 30 seconds (Estes, 1991). This is performed by all members except infants and is used as a threat display (Estes, 1991).
social mounting: The performer of this stands and resembles a sexual mount and is done by all except small infants (Estes, 1991). This often occurs before social grooming and is a response to social presenting (Estes, 1991).
embrace: The performer is seated and occur from the front or from behind and is done by females and young (Estes, 1991). This comes before social grooming and also serves as a greeting behavior (Estes, 1991).
touch (with hand): This done by all and is used to solicit social grooming and occasionally copulation, and it communicates a friendly intent (Estes, 1991).
social grooming: This is when one individual grooms another and is used to reinforce the bonds between individuals. In this species it occurs more frequently in the presence of another troop (Estes, 1991). Parasites and dead skin is removed with lips and/or tongue (Estes, 1991).