These animals mate monogamously. Male and female maintain a territory, on which they tollerate their non-breeding offspring.
Mating System: monogamous
Black-faced lion tamarins are fairly social mammals living in groups ranging from 2 to 11 members (Massicot, 2001). They are mostly monogamous and both the male and female care for the young. They mate once a year and give birth usually to two offspring at a time, although triplets and quadruplets have been seen in the wild. Young are born fully furred with their eyes open (Nowak, 1999). The older twins from the previous year tend to remain and help raise the new young (Harper). The father carries the infants around while the mother nurses them every 2-3 hours. The birth peak is from September to March (Flannery, 2001). Weaning usually occurs by 12 weeks of age in captivity . Females reach sexually maturity around 18 months of age, whereas males mature sexually around 24 months (Nowak, 1999).
Breeding season: Births of black-faced lion tamarins peak from September-March.
Average number of offspring: 2.
Average weaning age: 12 weeks.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 18-24 months.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 18-24 months.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); viviparous
As in all mammals, the mother nurses the young. The father is attentive in tamarins, however, and begins carrying the young part of the time within a few weeks of birth. By three weeks, the father has charge of the young almost all the time, except when they are nursing. Young from a previous litter may also help to carry the infants (Nowak, 1999).
Parental Investment: pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-independence (Protecting: Male, Female); post-independence association with parents