Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Callitrichidae

Scientific Name: Saguinus melanoleucus
Species Authority: (Miranda Ribeiro, 1912)
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English White/crandall's Saddleback Tamarin
Taxonomic Notes: Both S. melanoleucus melanoleucus and S. m. crandalli were considered to be subspecies of S. fuscicollis by Hershkovitz (1977). Saguinus f. melanoleucus, S. f. acrensis, and S. f. crandalli were listed as subspecies of S. melanoleucus by Coimbra-Filho (1990). Saguinus fuscicollis acrensis Carvalho 1957 is not considered a valid form, but a hybrid between S. f. fuscicollis and S. f. melanoleucus on the upper Rio Juruá, following Peres et al. (1996). S. f. crandalli may well be a hybrid of S. f. fuscicollis × S. f. melanoleucus. Listed as a subspecies of S. fuscicollis by Hershkovitz (1977) and Rylands et al. (1993; 2000). Taxonomy here follows Groves (2001, 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Rylands, A.B. & Mittermeier, R.A.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A., Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern as the species is widespread, common, and there are no major threats resulting in any significant population decline.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: There are two recognized subspecies:

Saguinus fuscicollis melanoleucus occurs along the east (right bank) of the upper Rio Juruá, south from the mouth of the Rio Eirú (Hershkovitz 1977). With S. f. acrensis now recognized to be a hybrid form of S. f. melanoleucus x S. f. fuscicollis at the headwaters of the Rio Juruá (Peres 1993), the range of S. f. melanoleucus now includes that of acrensis, along the right bank of the upper Juruá up to its headwaters, as described by Hershkovitz (1977). No records are available for the Rio Tarauacá, but according to Hershkovitz (1977) specimens collected by A. M. Olalla from Santa Cruz, Rio Eiru, in 1936, were from the right bank of the river, indicating that the distribution extends at least to the left bank of the Rio Tarauacá. No saddleback tamarins have to date been recorded to the east of the Rio Tarauacá in the state of Acre as far as the upper Rio Purus. Mena et al. (2007) provided the first record of S. f. melanoleucus for Peru (headwaters of the Río Breu (right bank affluent of upper Juruá). However, the specimen actually looks like one of the hybrids (fuscicollis × melanoleucus) that were discussed by Peres et al. (1996).

The origin and distribution of the subspecies Saguinus fuscicollis crandalli is not known. Hershkovitz (1977, p.636) proposed that it may occur between the Rios Purus and Madeira, south of the Rio Amazonas/Solimões. The affinity of this tamarin to S. f. melanoleucus and particularly the form described as S. f. acrensis by Hershkovitz (1977) (here regarded as a hybrid form of S. f. fuscicollis and S. f. melanoleucus, see Peres 1993, Peres et al. 1996) in terms of its pelage colour and pattern is the only indication of its distribution, and on this basis, Hershkovitz (1977, p.622) subsequently suggested a more likely locality: the headwaters of the Rio Purus in southern Peru.
Countries occurrence:
Brazil (Acre, Amazonas)
Present - origin uncertain:
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Peres (1997) estimated population densities for Saguinus m. melanoleucus at three terra firma forest sites on the upper Rio Juruá: Porongaba, 65.1 individuals/km²; Kaxinawá Reserve, 36.7 individuals/km²; and Penedo, 67.6 individuals/km².
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Saguinus melanoleucus occurs in Amazonian lowland, seasonally flooded forest, remnant forests or fringe patches and secondary forest (Snowdon and Soini 1988).

Marmosets and tamarins are distinguished from the other monkeys of the New World by their small size, modified claws rather than nails on all digits except the big toe, the presence of two as opposed to three molar teeth in either side of each jaw, and by the occurrence of twin births. They eat fruits, flowers, nectar, plant exudates (gums, saps, latex) and animal prey (including frogs, snails, lizards, spiders and insects). Marmosets have morphological and behavioural adaptations for gouging trees trunks, branches and vines of certain species to stimulate the flow of gum, which they eat, and in some species form a notable component of the diet. The dentition of the tamarins (Saguinus and Leontopithecus) does not provide for gouging and they eat gums only when readily available.

Tamarins live in extended family groups of between four and 15 individuals, but usually 2-8.

Saddleback tamarins travel and spend most of their time in the lower layers and understorey of the forest up to 10 m above the ground (Snowdon and Soini 1988). They tend to form mixed-species groups with the larger, sympatric moustached tamarins, including Saguinus mystax, Saguinus labiatus, and Saguinus imperator (see Yoneda 1981; Buchanan-Smith 1990; Peres 1992a,b, 1993c; Hardie 1998; Heymann and Buchanan-Smith 2000). The moustached tamarins trravel higher on the forest, spending more time in the lower and middle canopy, above 10 m.

Tamarins are monomorphic - exhibiting only minor differences in body and canine size.
Adult H&B 25.0 cm, TL 38.0 cm (Hershkovitz 1977).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): At present, there is no evidence of any major threats to the species. However, although it occurs in a remote region of the Brazilian Amazon, its small distribution and the rapidly expanding development of the state of Acre would indicate that it may be vulnerable. Probably not hunted, possibly some use as pets.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is not recorded from any protected areas. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

Citation: Rylands, A.B. & Mittermeier, R.A. 2008. Saguinus melanoleucus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T135429A4128407. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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