IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)


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Range Description

There are three recognized subspecies:

Saguinus mystax mystax
Spix’s Moustached Tamarin occurs in Peru, south of the Río Amazonas, west to the Ríos Ucayali and Tapiche, south to the junction of the Ríos Urubamba and Ucayali (Hershkovitz 1977; Soini and Soini 1990). Soini and Soini (1990) reported that its Peruvian distribution is more restricted than was indicated by Hershkovitz (1977), occurring only as far west as the east banks of the middle and lower Río Tapiche and lower Río Ucayali. Further south, it extends west again as far as the Río Ucayali, crossing the Río Tapiche at about 6º 40'S. This is based on a specimen from Cerro Azul, Contamana, collected by R. W. Hendee in 1927. Pekka Soini never recorded a moustached tamarin in the basins of the Ríos Pacaya and Samiria despite many years of research there (since 1979), and a specimen from the mouth of the Samiria west of the Río Ucayali (locality 96, Hershkovitz 1977, p.684) collected by H. Bluntschli in 1927 is as such enigmatic. According to Hershkovitz (1979) and the distribution map provided by Aquino and Encarnación (1994), the southernmost limit in Peru is marked by the Ríos Urubamba and Inuya. This is based on the southernmost specimen known for this subspecies from Lagarto on the right bank of the Río Ucayali (Hershkovitz 1977, locality 110, 10º41'S, 73º48'W), collected by the Olalla Brothers in 1928. S. imperator subgrisescens replaces S. m. mystax south of the Ríos Urubamba and Inuya (Hershkovitz 1979). In their text (as opposed to their distribution map), Aquino and Encarnación (1994) give the Río Sheshea, an eastern tributary of the Río Ucayali to the north of the Río Urubamba, as the southern limit, although there is no evidence given for this.

In Brazil, S. m. mystax occurs south of the Rio Solimões, and is largely restricted to the west of the Rio Juruá (Hershkovitz 1977). However, Peres (1990, 1991) recorded S. m. mystax from Jaraqui on the right (east) bank of the lower Rio Juruá. Likewise, Johns (1985, 1986) found that S. m. mystax the Moustached Tamarin occurring on the west bank of the Rio Tefé (east of the lower Río Juruá), with S. m. pileatus replacing it on the east bank. Above the headwaters of the Rio Tefé, the Moustached Tamarin occurring on the right (east) bank of the Rio Juruá is S. m. pileatus, this based on a specimen collected by E. Garbe in 1902, at approximately 7ºS (Hershkovitz 1977).

Saguinus mystax pileatus
According to Hershkovitz (1977), S. m. pileatus occurs south of the Rio Solimões, west of the Rio Purus, south at least as far as the Rio Pauiní or Rio Mamoria. Although Hershkovitz (1977) indicated that it occurs west to the lower Rio Juruá, Johns (1985, 1986) found that the Rio Tefé, its type locality, was its western limit. Judging from a specimen from ‘Juruá (Rio), Amazonas’ (locality 174b, Hershkovitz 1977, p.684), S. m. pileatus extends west to the Rio Juruá above the headwaters of the Rio Tefé. Despite Hershkovitz’s (1977) conviction that S. m. pileatus occurs east as far the Rio Purus on its lower reaches (that is east of the Rio Coarí), we argue that the limited evidence for the distributions of these tamarins suggests that it only reaches the Rio Purus above the Rio Tapauá, with S. m. pluto occurring from the Rio Tapauá, along the left bank of the Rio Purus downriver, and as far west as the Rio Coarí (see the description of the geographic range of S. m. pluto). S. m. pileatus is sympatric with S. fuscicollis avilapiresi throughout its known range.

Saguinus mystax pluto
The distribution of S. m. pluto is rather problematic. Hershkovitz (1968, 1977) argued that it occurs south of the Rio Solimões, between the Rios Purus and Madeira, south to at least 7° or 8° latitude, but the southern limits are not known. The distribution as described by Hershkovitz is based on three localities: 1) The type locality, Lago Ayapuá is on the left (west) bank of the Rio Purus, but Hershkovitz (1977) argued that it must have come from the right bank. 2) Lago do Mapixí, a lake on the right bank of the Rio Purus. Although Hershkovitz states that specimens from Lago do Mapixí are labelled ‘eastern of Rio Purus’ (1977, p.700), this is contradicted in Hershkovitz’s gazeteer (p.933, locality 185, Lago do Mapixí), which states under S. m. pluto ‘C. Lako, June 1931 (left bank of Purus)’. A specimen of S. labiatus, of the same collector with the same date and locality, is ascribed to the right bank of the Purus. (3) Jaburú, on the left bank of the Rio Purus (locality 186, p.933). As in the Ayapuá locality, Hershkovitz (1977) insists that the specimens were in fact taken from the right bank of the Rio Purus and even places the locality on the right bank in the distribution map for S. mystax (p.684, 1977). The problem with accepting that S. m. pluto is known only from the left bank of the Rio Purus is that it would have to be sympatric with S. m. pileatus. Ávila-Pires (1974) placed S. m. pluto to the west of the Rio Purus, and regarded it as a different species for this reason. However, the only specimen of S. m. pileatus recorded for the Rio Purus is São Luis da Mamoria, Rio Purus (locality 188,p.933, Hershkovitz 1977), which is far to the south, near the Rio Pauiní. Although different species, it would be very difficult to accept that S. mystax is sympatric with S. labiatus, because, along with S. imperator, they are evidently ecologically very similar. We suggest that S. m. pluto is in fact restricted to the left bank of the Rio Purus, but is not sympatric with S. m. pileatus, and probably extends east as far as the Rio Coarí and south only to the rio Tapauá. The Mamoria locality for S. m. pileatus is downstream of the mouth of the Rio Pauini and upstream of the mouth of the Rio Tapauá. The Lago do Ipixuna, another locality (183, p.933, Hershkovitz 1977) for S. m. pileatus, is west of the Rio Coarí. There is no evidence of S. m. pileatus occurring east of the Rio Coarí, nor north of the Rio Tapauá.

Izawa and Bejarano (1981) reported two isolated populations of S. mystax from the south of the Rio Acre, north of the Río Tahuamanú, in Bolivia: one between Cobija and Buenos Aires, right bank of the Rio Acre, and another from 10 km north-east of Porvenir, 11°12'S, on the Brazil/Bolivia frontier beyond the headwaters of the Rio Abunã. Izawa and Bejarano (1981) presumed them to be S. m. pluto because Hershkovitz (1977) extended its range south as far as the Abunã headwaters. According to Izawa and Bejarano (1981), these two populations of S. mystax are sympatric with S. labiatus, but do not form mixed species groups as they do independently with S. fuscicollis. There is no ready explanation for these Bolivian populations, more than 3 degrees to the south of the southernmost locality for S. m. pileatus. We consider that they are unlikely to be S. m. pluto, but may be S. m. pileatus (if they cross the upper Rio Purus) or, more likely, a different undescribed subspecies. Izawa and Bejarano (1981) also report a population of S. imperator within the distribution of S. labiatus, along with a new form of S. labiatus (undescribed). It would appear that the distributions of these species are mixed, forming fine-grained mosaics, in the southernmost parts of their ranges, traversing headwaters in a region lacking large rivers as barriers. S. mystax distributions are evidently more complex than portrayed by Hershkovitz (1977) and require further study. Buchanan-Smith et al. (2000) found no evidence for the occurrence of Saguinus mystax in northern Bolivia.


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© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

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