Overview

Distribution

Black-pencilled marmosets are found in the Neo-tropical gallery forests of the Brazilian Central Plateau. They live along the Brazillian coast ranging from Bahia to Sao Paulo, and as far inland as Goias, between 14 and 17 degrees S.

Biogeographic Regions: neotropical (Native )

  • Boudet, C. 2004. "Mammal's Planet" (On-line). Accessed March 30, 2004 at http://www.mammals-planet.org/index_select.php?.
  • Elliot, D. 1913. A Review of The Primates. New York: American Museum of Natural History.
  • Miranda, G., D. Faria. 2001. Ecological Aspects of Black-Pincelled Marmoset (Callithix penicillata) in the Cerradao and Dense Cerradao of the Brazilian Central Plateau. Brazilian Journal of Biology, 61/3: 397-404.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Black-pencilled marmosets typically have some sparse white hairs on their faces, with a dark brown or black head. Their upper body and limbs are gray and their rump is usually black. The marmosets' undersides are black with a gray abdomen. Their tail is ringed with black and white and is not prehensile, but is used for balance. They are characterized by the black tufts around their ears. Black-pencilled marmosets do not have an opposable thumb and their nails tend to have a claw-like appearance.

Average mass: 454 g.

Range length: 22.86 to 27.94 cm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; heterothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: male larger

Average mass: 307 g.

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Ecology

Habitat

Black-pencilled marmosets live in rainforests, usually residing high in the trees, under the canopy. Marmosets have rarely been observed at or near ground level.

Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: rainforest

  • Barros, M., C. Alencar, C. Tomaz. 2004. Differences in Aerial and Terrestrial Visual Scanning in Captive Black Tufted-ear Marmosets (Callithrix penicillata) Exposed to a Novel Environment. Folia Primatologica, 75/2: 85-91.
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Trophic Strategy

Black-pencilled marmosets commonly feed on tree sap. During food shortages or droughts their diet also includes fruit and insects, and they have even been known to eat various arthropods, molluscs, and small vertebrates.

Animal Foods: insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods; mollusks

Plant Foods: fruit; sap or other plant fluids

Primary Diet: herbivore (Eats sap or other plant foods)

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Associations

Black-pencilled marmosets are mutualists with many tree species, dispersing seeds of the fruit that they consume. They also act as parasites of other species of trees because they create sores in the trees in order to extract sap, while not positively affecting the tree in any way. They also serve as a source of prey for many larger animal species that reside in the forests, including large birds of prey, snakes, and wild cats.

Ecosystem Impact: disperses seeds

Species Used as Host:

  • trees

Mutualist Species:

  • Fruit trees

  • de Figueiredo, R., C. Longatti. 1997. Ecological Aspects of the Dispersal of a Melastomatacae by Marmosets and Howler Monkeys in a Semideciduous Forest in Southeastern Brazil. Revue d'Ecologie La Terre et La Vie, 52/1: 4-5.
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Black-pencilled marmosets are vulnerable to a wide range of both terrestrial and aerial predators. Aerial predators, large raptors, are considered the marmosets greatest threat, but they are also preyed upon by a variety of snakes and wild cats. Black-pencilled marmosets use a series of predator-specific vocalizations as well as visual scanning in their antipredation strategies.

Known Predators:

  • diurnal birds of prey (Falconiformes)
  • snakes (Serpentes)
  • cats (Felidae)

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

The communication of black-pencilled marmosets has not been fully studied, however, it is believed that they communicate mostly through vocalizations. They appear to have predator-specific cries when they are threatened and have many vocalizations in addition to predator warnings. Black-pencilled marmosets also use scent marking, though it is unclear whether this is a form of communication, as many different family groups simply ignore the markings that another family group has left.

Communication Channels: acoustic ; chemical

Other Communication Modes: scent marks

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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Life Expectancy

The life-span of a wild black-pencilled marmoset is unknown, however the average lifespan in captivity is 15 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
15 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
15.4 years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 15.4 years (captivity)
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Reproduction

Black-pencilled marmosets are monogamous and typically live in family groups which include the reproducing couple and their offspring.

Mating System: monogamous

Black-pencilled marmosets breed twice a year and produce between 1 and 4 offspring, however they generally have twins. The gestation period is 150 days and offspring wean at about 8 weeks. The marmosets reach sexual maturity at approximately 18 months old. However, they typically mate very late.

Breeding interval: Black-pencilled marmosets usually breed twice a year

Range number of offspring: 1 to 4.

Average number of offspring: 2, twins.

Average gestation period: 150 days.

Average weaning age: 8 weeks.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 13 to 20 months.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 18 months.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 13 to 20 months.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 18 months.

Key Reproductive Features: seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization ; viviparous

Average number of offspring: 2.

There is considerable parental investment by both parents; infants are extremely dependent on their parents. The offspring are raised with the aid of other juvenile siblings. Offspring are weaned at 8 weeks and then taught to search for food.

Parental Investment: pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); post-independence association with parents; extended period of juvenile learning; inherits maternal/paternal territory

  • Guerra, R., E. Takase, C. Santos. 1998. Cross-fostering between two species of marmosets (Callithrix jacchus and Callithrix penicillata). Revista Brasileira de Biologia, 58/4: 665-669.
  • Miranda, G., D. Faria. 2001. Ecological Aspects of Black-Pincelled Marmoset (Callithix penicillata) in the Cerradao and Dense Cerradao of the Brazilian Central Plateau. Brazilian Journal of Biology, 61/3: 397-404.
  • Rosenberg, S. 2004. "PENICILLATA MARMOSET: (Callithrix Penicillata)" (On-line). Accessed March 31, 2004 at http://monkeyneeds.com/penicillata_marmoset.htm.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

Black-pencilled marmosets have no special status with the IUCN Red List or the Unites States Endangered Species Act List. They are listed in Appendix II of CITES and are not currently considered an endangered or threatened species.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: appendix ii

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

There are no known adverse affects of black-pencilled marmosets on humans.

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Black-pencilled marmosets are considered highly valuable and exotic pets. They are also used often in zoo exhibits as well as many different types of scientific studies.

Positive Impacts: pet trade ; research and education

  • Mittermeier, R. 1986. Primate Conservation Priorities in the Neotropical Region. Pp. 221-240 in K Benirschke, ed. Primates: the road to self-sustaining populations. West Hanover, Massachusetts: Springer-Verlag.
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Wikipedia

Black-tufted marmoset

The black-tufted marmoset (Callithrix penicillata), also known as Mico-estrela in Portuguese, is a species of New World monkey that lives primarily in the Neo-tropical gallery forests of the Brazilian Central Plateau. It ranges from Bahia to Paraná,[3] and as far inland as Goiás, between 14 and 25 degrees south of the equator, and can commonly be seen in the City of Rio de Janeiro. This marmoset typically resides in rainforests, living an arboreal life high in the trees, but below the canopy. They are only rarely spotted near the ground.

Physical description[edit]

The black-tufted marmoset is characterized by black tufts of hair around their ears. It typically has some sparse white hairs on its face. It usually has a brown or black head and its limbs and upper body are gray, as well as its abdomen, while its rump and underside are usually black. Its tail is ringed with black and white and is not prehensile, but is used for balance. It does not have an opposable thumb and its nails tend to have a claw-like appearance. The black-tufted marmoset reaches a size of 19 to 22 cm and weighs up to 350 g.

Behavior[edit]

Diurnal and arboreal, the black-tufted marmoset has a lifestyle very similar to other marmosets. It typically lives in family groups of 2 to 14. The groups usually consist of a reproductive couple and their offspring. Twins are very common among this species and the males, as well as juvenile offspring, often assist the female in the raising of the young.

Though the black-tufted marmoset lives in small family groups, it is believed that they share their food source, sap trees, with other marmoset groups. Scent marking does occur within these groups, but it is believed that the marking is to deter other species rather than other black-tufted marmoset groups, because other groups typically ignore these markings. They also appear to be migratory, often moving in relation to the wet or dry seasons, however, the extent of their migration is unknown.

Though communication between black-tufted marmosets has not been studied thoroughly, it is believed that it communicates through vocalizations. It has known predator-specific cries and appears to vocalize frequently outside of predator cries.

Food and predation[edit]

Black-tufted marmoset eating a cricket around Serra do Cipó National Park, Brazil (by Leonardo C. Fleck)

The Black-tufted Marmoset diet consists primarily of tree sap which it gets by nibbling the bark with its long lower incisors. In periods of drought, it will also include fruit and insects in its diet. In periods of serious drought it has also been known to eat small arthropods, molluscs, bird eggs, baby birds and small vertebrates.

Large birds of prey are the greatest threat to the black-tufted marmoset, however, snakes and wild cats also pose a danger to them. Predator-specific vocalizations and visual scanning are its only anti-predation techniques.

Reproduction[edit]

The black-tufted marmoset is monogamous and lives in family groups. It reproduces twice a year, producing 1 to 4 offspring, though most often just twins. Its gestation period is 150 days and offspring are weaned after 8 weeks. There is considerable parental investment by this species, with both parents, as well as older juveniles, helping to raise the young. The offspring are extremely dependent on their parents and though they are sexually mature at 18 months, they typically do not mate until much later, staying with their family group until they do.

Ecosystem roles and conservation status[edit]

The black-tufted marmoset is a mutualist with many species of fruit trees because it distributes the seeds from the fruit it consumes throughout the forests. However, it is a parasite on other species of trees because it creates sores in trees in order to extract sap, while offering no apparent benefit to the trees. Though this marmoset is not a main food source to any specific species, it is a food source to a number of different species, specifically large birds of prey, wild cats, and snakes.

While there are no known negative effects of marmosets towards humans, it carries specific positive effects by being a highly valuable exotic pet. It is also used in zoo exhibits and scientific research.

The black-tufted marmoset is listed as having no special status on the IUCN Red List or the United States Endangered Species Act List. It is listed in Appendix II of CITES and is not currently considered an endangered or threatened species. In Rio de Janeiro State, where it was introduced alongside the common marmoset, it is considered as an invasive species posing a danger to the survival of the endangered Golden Lion Tamarin through competition. Management of the species in its invaded habitat has included proposals for sterilization of reproductive-age individuals, relocation, and public awareness campaign for prevention of further releases.[4]

References and notes[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 132. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  2. ^ Rylands, A. B. & Mendes, S. L. (2008). Callithrix penicillata. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 2 January 2009.
  3. ^ Passos, Fernando C.; João M. D. Miranda; Lucas de M. Aguiar; Gabriela Ludwig; Itiberê P. Bernardi; Rodrigo F. Moro-Rios (2006). "DISTRIBUIÇÃO E OCORRÊNCIA DE PRIMATAS NO ESTADO DO PARANÁ, BRASIL" (pdf). A Primatologia no Brasil 10. EDIPUCRS. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  4. ^ Asociação Mico-Leão Dourado (Brazilian NGO concerned with Golden Lion Tamarin conservation), site, [1]. Accessed November the 15th. 2011

References[edit]

  • Barros, M.; Alencar, C.; Tomaz, C. (2004). "Differences in Aerial and Terrestrial Visual Scanning in Captive Black Tufted-ear Marmosets (Callithrix penicillata) Exposed to a Novel Environment". Folia Primatologica 75 (2): 85–91. doi:10.1159/000076266. 
  • Boudet, C. (2004). "Mammal's Planet". Retrieved March 30, 2004. 
  • de Figueiredo, R.; Longatti, C. (1997). "Ecological Aspects of the Dispersal of a Melastomatacae by Marmosets and Howler Monkeys in a Semideciduous Forest in Southeastern Brazil". Revue d'Ecologie La Terre et La Vie 52 (1): 4–5. 
  • Elliot, D. (1913). A Review of The Primates. New York: American Museum of Natural History. 
  • Guerra, R.; Takase, E.; Santos, C. (1998). "Cross-fostering between two species of marmosets (Callithrix jacchus and Callithrix penicillata)". Revista Brasileira de Biologia 58 (4): 665–669. doi:10.1590/S0034-71081998000400014. 
  • Lacher, T.; Bouchardet da Fonseca, G.; Alves, C.; Magalhaes-Castro, B. (1981). "Exudate-Eating, Scent-Marking, and Territoriality in Wild Populations of Marmosets". Animal Behavior 29 (1): 306–307. doi:10.1016/S0003-3472(81)80185-6. 
  • Miranda, G.; Faria, D. (2001). "Ecological Aspects of Black-Pincelled Marmoset (Callithrix penicillata) in the Cerradao and Dense Cerradao of the Brazilian Central Plateau". Brazilian Journal of Biology 61 (3): 397–404. doi:10.1590/S1519-69842001000300008. 
  • Mittermeier, R. (1986). "Primate Conservation Priorities in the Neotropical Region". In Benirschke, K. Primates: The Road to Self-Sustaining Populations. West Hanover, Massachusetts: Springer-Verlag. pp. 221–240. ISBN 0-387-96270-0. 
  • Rosenberg, S. (2004). "Penicillata Marmoset: (Callithrix Penicillata)". Retrieved March 31, 2004. 
  • Rylands, A. B.; Mittermeier, R. A. (2009). "The Diversity of the New World Primates (Platyrrhini)". In Garber PA, Estrada A, Bicca-Marques JC, Heymann EW, Strier KB. South American Primates: Comparative Perspectives in the Study of Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation. Springer. pp. 23–54. ISBN 978-0-387-78704-6. 
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