Callithrix flaviceps 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Callitrichidae

Scientific Name: Callithrix flaviceps (Thomas, 1903)
Common Name(s):
English Buffy-headed Marmoset
French Ouistiti À Tête Jaune
Taxonomic Notes: In the past, the eastern Brazilian marmosets (penicillata É. Geoffroy, 1812, geoffroyi É. Geoffroy in Humboldt, 1812, aurita É. Geoffroy in Humboldt, 1812, and flaviceps Thomas, 1903) of the “jacchus group” were considered to be subspecies of Callithrix jacchus, following Hershkovitz (1977). All are now considered to be full species (see Coimbra-Filho and Mittermeier 1973, Coimbra-Filho 1984, Mittermeier et al. 1988, Mendes 1997b, Marroig et al. 2004, Coimbra-Filho et al.. 2006).

Coimbra-Filho (1986a,b, 1990) and Coimbra-Filho et al. (1993b) argued that Callithrix flaviceps should be considered a subspecies of C. aurita. The similarities between C. flaviceps and C. aurita in pelage patterns such as the ear tufts and the skull-like facial mask, ecological adaptations, ontogeny (the infants are extremely similar), vocalizations and clinal variation in overall pelage colour, indicate to us that flaviceps might well be best considered a subspecies of aurita (Coimbra-Filho 1986a,b; Coimbra-Filho et al. 1993).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Rylands, A.B, Ferrari, S.F. & Mendes, S.L.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
This species is listed as Endangered due to small population size and ongoing decline. Current estimates of the population are less than 2,500 mature individuals, with no subpopulation greater than 250 individuals. Remaining populations are fragmented. Densities are naturally low.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The distribution of C. flaviceps is described by Hershkovitz (1977), Coimbra-Filho et al. (1981), and Coimbra-Filho (1986a). It occurs in the Serra da Mantiqueira in southern Espírito Santo, south of the Rio Doce at least to the state boundary with Rio de Janeiro (and in the past possibly in the north of the state of Rio de Janeiro, in the municipalities of Natividade, Porciuncula and the north of Bom Jesus do Itabapoãna when they were forested). It extends west into eastern Minas Gerais in scattered localities in the highly fragmented forests of the Rio Manhuaçu basin as far as Manhuaçú (40°02’W), as noted by Coimbra-Filho (1986a) Coimbra-Filho et al. (1981) and Mendes and Melo (2007). Ferrari and Mendes (1991) and Mendes (1993) reviewed the distribution of C. flaviceps. Hirsch (2003; Hirsch et al. in prep.) obtained records in Minas Gerais which have extended its known range somewhat north and west, towards the east (right bank) of the Rio Doce (Fazenda Saet [19º43'S, 42º26'] and the Fazenda do Eraldo A. Alves [19º45'S, 42º25'] both at an altitiude of 270 m and about 10 km from the east bank of the Rio Doce, in the municipality of Pingo d’Água). Hirsch (2003) also refers to two localities which would extend the range a little further south in Minas Gerais, but they have still to be confirmed and may be hybrids with C. aurita (the left bank of the Rio Matipó, municipality of Abre Campo, and the Córrego Jurumirim, left bank of the Rio Casca, municipality of Rio Casca).
Countries occurrence:
Brazil (Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Their distribution is locally patchy, being abundant in some areas, but rare or absent in others close by.

In Augusto Ruschi Biological Reserve, Espírito Santo, Pinto et al. (1993) recorded a mean density of 7.1 individuals/km² (range = 3.4 - 18 injdividuals/km²). At the Caratinga Biological Station, Minas Gerais, the recorded density was 40 individuals/km² (Ferrari 1988).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Callithrix aurita and C. flaviceps are the southernmost forms of marmosets in terms of the natural range of the genus (C. jacchus, C. penicillata and C. geoffroyi have been introduced further south in Paraná, São Paulo, Santa Catarina and Argentina). They occur in the montane Atlantic coastal forest and forests of the inland plateau, at altitudes up to 1,200 m where dry season temperatures can fall close to freezing (Ferrari et al. 1996). They show a preference for disturbed forest, being rare in old growth forest with sparse understoreys (Ferrari 1988; Ferrari and Mendes 1991). There is a natural hybrid zone, with Callithrix aurita, at the Serra do Brigadeiro, Carangola, in south-eastern Minas Gerais (Coimbra-Filho et al. 1993; Cosenza 1993; Mendes 1997a; Cosenza and Melo 1998).

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) (see Ferrari 1988, 1991; Corrêa et al. 2000). 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 (Coimbra-Filho 1972; Rylands 1984). They live in extended family groups of between four and 15 individuals. Generally, only one female per group breeds during a particular breeding season. The groups defend home ranges 10-40 ha, the size depending on availability and distribution of foods and second-growth patches.

The ecology and behaviour of C. flaviceps has been studied by Ferrari (1988, 1991, Ferrari and Diego 1992) at the 880 ha Caratinga Biological Station in Minas Gerais. The home range of the group he studied was 35.5 ha. Guimarães (1998a, 1998b) also studied the same marmoset group at Caratinga.

The dentition of Callithrix flaviceps is less specialized for tree-gouging to obtain gum than it is in C. jacchus and C. penicillata (see Natori 1986). Nevertheless, gum is an important part of the diet year round, and largely obtained from sites where it is available without requiring gouging (Ferrari 1988, 1991; Ferrari et al. 1996).

Average weight: 406 g (Rosenberger 1992).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has a restricted range in an area where the forest is extremely fragmented through agriculture, cattle ranching, tree plantations (Eucalyptus), urbanization, and mining (Coimbra-Filho 1986a; 1990; Ferrari and Mendes 1991; Mendes and Melo 2007). They are hunted for pets.

Mendes and Melo (2007) surveyed forest fragments in the Zona da Mata of the state of Minas Gerais, and recorded the presence of introduced populations of Callithrix jacchus, C. peniciilata and C. geoffroyi, which they believe are displacing C. flaviceps. They recommended awareness campaigns to reduce the habit of releasing marmosets willy nilly, in the region centred on the town of Manhuaçú.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in the following protected areas:

Minas Gerais
Caparaó National Park (31,853 ha) (part Espírito Santo)
Caratinga Biological Station / RPPN Feliciano Miguel Abdala (900 ha) (Coimbra-Filho et al. 1981).
RPPN Mata do Sossego Biological Station (221 ha) (privately owned)

Espírito Santo
Augusto Ruschi Biological Reserve (4,492 ha) (Pinto et al. 1993)
Pedra Azul State Reserve (993 ha) (Mendes 1991; Ferrari and Mendes 1991; Oliver and Santos 1991)
Forno Grande State Reserve (340 ha) (Mendes 1991; Ferrari and Mendes 1991; Oliver and Santos 1991)
São Lourenço Biological Station (Mendes 1991; Ferrari and Mendes 1991; Oliver and Santos 1991)
Santa Lucia Biological Station (350 ha) (Mendes 1991; Ferrari and Mendes 1991; Oliver and Santos 1991)

Attempts to establish a captive breeding program have to date been unsuccessful (Coimbra-Filho et al. 1997).

It is listed on Appendix I of CITES.

Citation: Rylands, A.B, Ferrari, S.F. & Mendes, S.L. 2008. Callithrix flaviceps. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T3571A9951402. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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