Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Callitrichidae

Scientific Name: Cebuella pygmaea
Species Authority: (Spix, 1823)
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Pygmy Marmoset
Spanish Leonzito, Chichico, Leoncillo, Chambira, Micoleãozinho, Mono De Bolsillo, Titi, Titi-pielroja
Taxonomic Notes: Cebuella was proposed by Gray (1866) as a subgenus of Hapale (later Callithrix), and soon after as a distinct genus (Gray, 1870). Rosenberger (1981), Rosenberger and Coimbra-Filho (1984), and Natori (1994) argued, on morphological terms, that the Pygmy Marmoset should correctly be included in the genus Callithrix. This was not maintained in Rosenberger et al. (1990), although Barroso (1995), Barroso et al. (1997), Moreira et al. (1996), Schneider et al. (1996), Schneider and Rosenberger (1996), Tagliaro et al. (1997), Porter et al. (1997a), and Canavez et al. (1999a) also argued for this arrangement on the basis of molecular genetics. The argument that Cebuella should be included in the genus Callithrix centers on the conclusion, from both morphological and genetic studies, that the Pygmy Marmoset is more closely related to the Amazonian marmosets (the argentata group of Hershkovitz [1977]) than the latter are to the Atlantic forest marmosets (the jacchus group of Hershkovitz [1977]). Schneider et al. (1993) and Schneider and Rosenberger (1996) also concluded that their molecular genetic data are compatible with jacchus and pygmaea being congeneric. Groves (2001, 2005) places the species in the genus Callithrix, subgenus Cebuella. Although closely related to the Amazonian marmosets, we believe that Cebuella pygmaea deserves generic status. The species shows very distinct features, unique among the callitrichids, involving not only its diminutive size, but also the tree-gouging specialization not observed to nearly the same extent in its Amazonian sister group.

If Cebuella is maintained as a separate genus, then the group would be paraphyletic unless the argentata group marmosets and the jacchus group marmosets are placed in different genera. This was the option adopted, with the Amazonian marmosets being placed in the genus Mico Lesson, 1840 (see below). This decision was also based on the clear identity of the three genera shown in all morphological and molecular studies available.

In 1940, Lönnberg described the subspecies Cebuella pygmaea niveiventris from Lago Ipixuna, south bank of the Rio Solimões, based on its sharply contrasting whitish chest, belly, and inner surface of arms and legs. The ventral surface of C. p. pygmaea is ochraceous. Cruz Lima (1945) and Napier (1976) also recognized and described the two subspecies. Hershkovitz (1977) argued that the colour of the underparts is individually and locally variable invalidating the subspecific status of niveiventris. However, van Roosmalen and van Roosmalen (1997) recently presented evidence for the validity of the two subspecies based on field observations and captive specimens of C. p. niveiventris, and confirmed its presence in the interfluvium of the Rios Purus and Madeira.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): de la Torre, S. & Rylands, A.B.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Listed as Least Concern as the species has a relatively wide distribution range, is common, and there are no major threats resulting in a significant population decline. However, it may be undergoing some localized declines in parts of its range, due mainly to habitat loss.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2003 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Following Van Roosmalen and Van Roosmalen (1997), the Western Pygmy Marmoset C. p. pygmaea occurs in the upper Amazon basin, north of the Rio Solimões in Brazil west from the Rio Japurá, and south of the Río Caquetá in Colombia, Amazonian Ecuador and Peru, north of the Solimões-Amazonas-Marañon, and east (left bank) of the Rio Pastaza in Peru. The easternmost localities in Brazil include the Paraná do Aranapu and Paraná do Jarauá on the lower Rio Japurá. Hernández-Camacho and Cooper (1976) and Defler (2003, 2004) recorded that it is well known south of the Río Caquetá in Colombia, but that reports of its occurrence further north in the upper Río Guaviare region, remain to be confirmed. The only evidence to date is a captive specimen believed to have been obtained from Cano Morrocoy on the south bank of the Río Guaviare. Izawa (1975) reported that it is absent from the Río Peneya, north of the Río Caquetá, and during further surveys was unable to confirm its presence anywhere else north of the Río Caquetá, although in a later publication (Izawa 1979) he indicated that it may occur on the Río Orteguaza, a northern tributary of the uppermost reaches. It would evidently be the subspecies throughout the Ecuadorian Amazon (De la Torre 2000). In Peru, Aquino and Encarnación (1994a) extend the range to the west of the Río Pastaza, to the region of the Cerro Campanquiz and basin of the Río Santiago, south to the Río Mayo in the Department of San Martín, a left bank tributary of the Río Huallaga, and to both sides of Río Marañon. The range south of the Río Marañon west of the Rio Huallaga could belong to either pygmaea or niveiventris according to the distribution proposed by Van Roosmalen and Van Roosmalen (1997).

Following Van Roosmalen and Van Roosmalen’s (1997) hypothesis, the Eastern Pygmy Marmoset C. p. niveiventris would be the form south of the Rio Solimões-Amazonas-Marañon and east of the lower Río Huallaga and middle to upper Río Ucayali. Aquino and Encarnación (1994a) indicated a larger range in Peru, occupying the entire Amazonian lowlands and Andean foothills east of the Río Mayo and the Río Huallaga above the Río Mayo, and including the Río Pachitea and the Río Ucayali basins, south to the upper Río Purus and the basins of the Rió Madre de Dios, and Río de las Piedras and the Rio Tambopata. From there it extends east into northern Bolivia to the region of Cobija (Freese et al. 1982; Buchanan-Smith et al. 2000). In Bolivia, Izawa (1979) and Izawa and Bejarano (1981) confined it to the north and west of the Ríos Orthon and Manuripi, northern tributaries of the Río Madre de Dios. However, Brown and Rumiz (1986) doubt that it occurs as far south as the Río Manuripi, limiting its distribution to the north of the Río Tahuamanu. Buchanan-Smith et al. (2000) confirmed their presence south of the Río Tahuamanu along the Rio Muyumanu. The easternmost record they obtained was at Santa Rosa on the Río Abunã. Its presence in northern Bolivia indicates that it should occur in parts of eastern Acre, including the Ríos Acre and uppermost Abunã, not indicated by Hershkovitz (1977). This was confirmed by Bicca-Marques and Calegaro-Marques (1995). Van Roosmalen and Van Roosmalen (1997) observed Pygmy Marmosets between the lower Rios Purus and Madeira, and indicated a range extending south at least to the Rio Ipixuna (right bank tributary of the Rio Purus). The Río Abunã is a left bank tributary of the Rio Madeira so it is reasonable to believe that Pygmy Marmosets occur throughout the interfluvium of the Rios Purus and Madeira south to the Rio Abunã. The southernmost locality reported so far is the Manu National Park, approximately 12ºS (Soini 1988).
Countries occurrence:
Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil (Acre, Amazonas, Rondônia); Colombia (Colombia (mainland)); Ecuador; Peru
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is generally considered common (Mittermeier et al. 1978; Coimbra-Filho 1984; Hernández-Camacho and Defler 1985, 1989; Soini 1982; Soini et al. 1989). It can reach very high densities in riparian forest (Soini 1988). Density estimates from a river edge site in the Maniti basin in Peru over three years ranged from 210-227 individuals/km² (Soini 1988). In Ecuador, densities range from 1-6 individuals/km² of river (De la Torre et al, in press). Peres (1997) estimated densities of Cebuella pygmaea at 5 sites: 1) Porongaba, Rio Juruá, 15.9 individuals/km²; 2) Altamira, Rio Juruá, 2.3 individuals/km²; 3) Barro Vermelho, Rio Juruá, 2.2 individuals/km²; 4) Fortuna, Rio Juruá, 4.7 individuals/km²; and 5) Riozinho, Rio Riozinho, 4.3 individuals/km².
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is largely restricted to river-edge forest (Soini 1988) and its abundance in a given locality is dependent on the availability of suitable habitat. However, a number of authors have indicated its occurrence in secondary forest (Moynihan 1976; Hernández-Camacho and Cooper 1976). It may be particularly abundant in areas moderately affected by agricultural activities and hunting (Soini 1982, 1988) and is capable of existing in isolated forest patches near human settlements (Hernández-Camacho and Defler 1985). It generally travels in the lower layers of the forest, keeping to dense vegetation in the understorey. In Ecuador, it is known to occur between altitudes 200 and 940 m, but usually below 400 m above sea level (Tirira 2007). As in Peru, it shows a marked preference for inundated forests, liana forest, and the edges of rivers and lakes, and can also be found in secondary forest (Tirira 2007).

Cebuella is a gum-feeding specialist, with behavioural and dental adaptations to gnaw holes in the bark of certain species of trees and vines to stimulate gum production (Soini 1988; Yepez et al. 2005). Saddleback tamarin, Saguinus fuscicollis, groups tend to pirate these gum feeding holes wherever the two species are sympatric (Soini 1988, 1993).

Group sizes range from 5-9, with 1-2 adult males and 1-2 adult females. As in other callitrichids, the single breeding female in the group produces twins twice a year, and the adult males and other group members help her to carry them (Soini 1988). Home ranges are typically small from 0.1 to 0.4 ha, centred on one or two trees which supply the gum they need. The entire group will move to a new home range when the gum sources become inadequate (Soini 1988).

Adult male weight 110 g (n=36) (Soini 1988)
Adult female weight 122 g (n=27) (Soini 1988).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There is hunting in some parts of the range (e.g., in Ecuador), as well as some use as pets. The principal reason for its inclusion on the CITES Appendix I in 1977-1979 (now relegated to Appendix II; see Mack and Mittermeier 1984) was the international trade, particularly from the area of Iquitos, Colombia. There is also some localized habitat loss taking place.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The following protected areas are within its known range:

Manuripi Health Nature Reserve (1,884,375 ha)

Serra do Divisor National Park (605,000 ha) AC
Abufarí Biological Reserve (288,000 ha) (left bank of Rio Purus) AM
Rio Acre Ecological Station (72,000 ha) AC
Juamí-Japurá Ecological Station (745, 830 ha) AM
Jutaí-Solimões Ecological Reserve (284, 285 ha) AM
Mamirauá State Ecological Station (1,134,000 ha) AM

Amacayacu Natural National Park (INDERENA 1989; Defler 1994, 2003, 2004)
Cahuinarí Natural National Park Within range (Defler 2003, 2004)
La Paya Natural National Park (INDERENA 1989; Polanco-Ochoa et al. 1999) Within range (Defler 2003, 2004).

Yasuni National Park (Tirira 2007)
Limoncocha Biological Reserve (Tirira 2007)
Reserva de Producción Faunística Cuyabeno (De Vries et al. 1993; De la Torre et al. 1995b; De la Torre 1996; Tirira 2007)
Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve (Tirira 2007).

Manu National Park (1,532,806 ha) (Terborgh et al. 1984: Gazzo, 1985)
Tingo Maria National Park (18,000 ha)
Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve (1,478,800 ha)
Tambopata Natural Wildlife Reserve (5,500 ha).

It is listed on Appendix II of CITES (as Callithrix pygmaea).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.8. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Swamp
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing: Future    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing: Future    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing: Future    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.3. Agro-industry grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing: Future    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Future    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓ 

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Citation: de la Torre, S. & Rylands, A.B. 2008. Cebuella pygmaea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41535A10493764. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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