Callithrix penicillata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Callitrichidae

Scientific Name: Callithrix penicillata (É. Geoffroy, 1812)
Common Name(s):
English Black-pencilled Marmoset, Black-tufted-ear Marmoset, Black-tufted Marmoset
Spanish Sagüi
Callithrix jacchus ssp. penicillata (Hershkovitz 1977)
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 1984; Mittermeier et al. 1988; Marroig et al. 2004; Coimbra-Filho et al. 2006; Rylands et al. 1993, 2008).

The taxonomic history and a discussion of the type locality can be found in Vivo (1991) and Coimbra-Filho et al. 2006).

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. & Mendes, S.L.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
This species is listed as Least Concern due to its large increasing populations, adaptability to disturbed habitat, and large distribution range. These species were common in the pet trade and have been released from captivity in many areas outside of their previous range - often hybridizing with native Callithrix.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:C. penicillata has a very wide distribution, occurring in the cerrado region of east central Brazil. According to Hershkovitz 1977), this species occurs in the states of Bahia, Minas Gerais, Goiás, the south-west tip of Piauí, Maranhão and the north of São Paulo, north of the Rios Tieté and Piracicaba. In the north, it would seem that it is restricted to the south of the Rio Grande and Rio São Francisco (C. jacchus occurring to the north of the Rio Grande), although Vivo (1991) identified two skins in the Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, from the north-east coast of Maranhão, at Miritiba (now called Humberto dos Campos), which he indicated extends its range right through eastern Maranhão, along the left bank of the Rio Parnaiba. The large gap between the next northernmost locality to the south (Canabrava, Rio Tocantins, Goiás, locality 275a of Hershkovitz 1977, p.490) and this northern Maranhão locality, indicates that they were probably introduced animals. They were not located by Hershkovitz (1977) and were presumed by him to be C. jacchus, following Ávila-Pires (1969). Silva Jr. (1999) carried out surveys in Maranhão and Piauí and did not report the occurrence of C. penicillata, only C. jacchus. The western limits of its range would seem to be marked by the Rio Araguaia, south from around 8ºS in the region of the Serra das Cordilheiras, extending into the north-east of the state of Mato Grosso Sul, east of the Serra de Maracaju to the level of the Rios Pardo or Taquaraçú, west (right) bank tributaries of the Rio Paraná.

Surveys in the north of the state of Minas Gerais have shown that C. penicillata extends its range through the region between the upper Rio São Francisco and the Rio Jequitinhonha, along the western slopes of the Serra do Espinhaço. C. penicillata occurs both sides of the Rio Jequitinhonha as far east as the Rio Araçuaí, a south (right) bank tributary of the upper Jequitinhonha, beyond which it is restricted to the north of the river, with C. geoffroyi occurring to the south (Rylands et al. 1988), the result of a recent introduction (ca. 1975) in the vicinity of Belmonte (Coimbra-Filho unpubl.). C. penicillata is typically of the cerrado region of Minas Gerais (in the central, south-west, west, and north of the state). Those parts originally covered by Atlantic coastal forest in the east and south-east (the Zona da Mata) are the domain of C. geoffroyi, C. flaviceps, and in part of the Rio Doce valley, C. aurita. However, with the destruction of the forest and also resulting from introductions (misguided release of confiscated animals), C. penicillata is taking a hold and probably replacing other species in numerous localities east and south of its original range (see, for example, Olmos and Martuscelli 1995). This is happening in the Rio Doce State Park, and is possibly also the case of C. penicillata reported by Vivo (1991; see also Coimbra-Filho 1984) from the Itatiaia National Park straddling the border of the states of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais. In both cases, C. aurita is the species naturally occurring in the area.
Countries occurrence:
Brazil (Bahia, Espírito Santo - Introduced, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Tocantins)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are no recorded population densities.
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Gallery Forest, dry forest and forest patches in the Cerrado of Central Brazil. As is true of other marmosets, they show a preference for disturbed and secondary growth forest (Fonseca and Lacher Jr. 1984; Lacher Jr. et al. 1984; Rylands 1984; Seabra et al. 1991; Rylands and Faria 1993).

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 (Coimbra-Filho 1972; Rylands 1984; Rylands and Faria 1993). The most specialized of the Callithrix marmosets in this respect are Callithrix jacchus and C. penicillata (see Rylands 1984; Fonseca and Lacher Jr. 1984; Lacher Jr. et al. 1984; Rylands 1984; Rylands and Faria 1993). They live in extended family groups of between four and 15 individuals. Generally, only one female per group breeds during a particular breeding season. Associated with their tree-gouging and gum-feeding specialisation, groups generally have small home ranges: 1.25 ha to 4.5 ha (Fonseca and Lacher Jr. 1984) or 3.5 ha (Faria 1986, 1989).

Callithrix pencillata has been the subject of a number of short studies (see, for example, Fonseca and Lacher Jr. 1984; Lacher Jr. et al. 1984; Faria 1984a,b, 1986, 1989; Miranda and Faria 2001; Vilela and Faria 2004; Vilela 2007).

Male 344 g (n=8) (Smith and Jungers 1997).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This is an adaptable, widespread species, which has been introduced in a number of regions in Brazil (for example, Espírito Santo, Paraná, São Paulo and Santa Catarina), and is considered a competitor, displacing native species. However, as with C. jacchus, although widespread and hardy, and able to survive in extremely degraded habitats, populations of this species have disappeared or are declining in many parts of its range. Hunted for pets.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It has been introduced into part of the Rio Dôce State Park (35,973 ha), the Ibitipoca State Reserve (1,448 ha), both in the state of Minas Gerais (Mittermeier and Rylands pers. obs.), and the Ilha Grande State Park (56,000 ha), Rio de Janeiro (H.K.M. Corrêa pers. comm.). The following conservation units are within its geographical distribution (* indicates possibly introduced and/or mixed populations of C. jacchus and C. penicillata):

Brasília National Park (28,000 ha) DF
Emas National Park (131,868 ha) GO
Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park (60,000 ha) GO
Serra da Canastra National Park (71,525 ha) MG
Serra do Cipó National Park (33,800 ha) MG
Araguaia National Park (?) (562,312 ha) TO
Grande Sertão Veredas National Park (84,000 ha) MG
Chapada da Diamantina National Park (152,000 ha) BA
Pirapitinga Ecological Station (1,090 ha) MG
Raso da Catarina Ecological Reserve (99,772 ha)* BA
Ibitipoca State Park (1,489 ha) MG
Acauã State Reserve (5,000 ha) MG

It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

Citation: Rylands, A.B. & Mendes, S.L. 2008. Callithrix penicillata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41519A10486326. . Downloaded on 21 September 2018.
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