Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Primates Callitrichidae

Scientific Name: Callithrix jacchus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Common Marmoset, White-tufted-ear Marmoset
Taxonomic Notes: The marmosets of the Brazilian Atlantic forest, the xerophytic scrub and deciduous, and semideciduous forest (caatinga) of north-eastern Brazil, and the Cerrado (bush savanna) of central Brazil were all considered by Hershkovitz (1977) to be subspecies of Callithrix jacchus.

The Atlantic forest marmosets and Callithrix peniciillata are now considered distinct species (see Mittermeier et al. 1988; Rylands et al. 1993, 2008; Groves 2001, 2005; Marroig et al. 2004; 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, Mittermeier, R.A., de Oliveira, M.M. & Kierulff, M.C.M.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A., Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is listed as Least Concern as it is relatively widely distributed, adaptable, occurs in a number of protected areas, and because the current rate of decline is not sufficient to qualify it for a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2003 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Common Marmoset occurs in the scrub forest (forest patches in dry caatinga thorn scrub) and Atlantic forest of north-eastern Brazil, in the states of Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, and Piauí, Maranhão, Bahia, and possibly north-eastern Tocantins, originally extending south as far as the Rio São Francisco and its west (left) bank tributary the Rio Grande (about 11º30’S). Hershkovitz (1977) indicated that it also probably extends north-west into the state of Maranhão, to the left bank of the Rio Parnaíba and the Serra do Valentim (Hershkovitz 1977). Hershkovitz (1977) extended the distribution no further west than the middle reaches of the Rio Grande (left bank) and the upper Rio Parnaíba (right bank), with a lacuna between these points and the Rio Tocantins. Silva Jr. (1999) reported on localities in Maranhão and Piauí marking the north-western limit to its range, and determined that, as Hershkovitz (1977) had indicated, it extends to the left bank of the Rio Parnaíba, but there is a lack of information concering its occurrence or otherwise west from there into the basin of the Rio Itapecuru (Sillva Jr. 1999; unpubl. data, 2008). The Black-handed Tamarin, Saguinus niger, occurs to the west, but the easternmost locallities are in the interfluvium of the rios Mearim and Itapecuru (J. S. Silva Jr., unpubl. data, 2008). Flesher (2001) recorded C. jacchus in the Serra das Mangabeiras at the headwaters of the Rio Parnaíba in Piauí, approximately 10ºS, 46ºW. South of the Serra da Mangabeiras, it is possible that the Serra Geral de Goiás marks the divide with C. penicillata to the west. It has spread into numerous other regions as a result of introductions outside of its original range, south of the Rio São Francisco, accompanying the destruction and degradation of the Atlantic coastal forest and its associated ecosystems (Coimbra-Filho and Câmara 1996). Introduced and recent populations include those in the state of Sergipe and the north and north-east of Bahia, including the ‘Recóncavo da Bahia’ (Alonso et al. 1987), the state of Rio de Janeiro in south-east Brazil (Coimbra-Filho, 1984; Ruiz-Miranda et al. 2000), the Ilha de Santa Catarina in southern Brazil (Santos et al. 2005) and they are also reported to have established themselves in Buenos Aires. Alonso et al. (1987) indicated that the Recóncavo da Bahia shows a relatively narrow zone of mixing between Callithrix penicillata and C. jacchus. However, Coimbra-Filho et al. (1991/1992; Coimbra-Filho and Câmara 1996) have shown that this region was originally forested, and argued that the destruction of the natural vegetation over vast areas since the European discovery of Brazil in 1500, along with frequent and repeated introductions, certainly of C. jacchus but probably also of C. penicillata, has resulted in a confused picture of hybrids between these species and between C. penicillata and C. kuhlii (see Coimbra-Filho et al. 1993). They argued that pure C. kuhlii was the original form occurring there.
Countries occurrence:
Brazil (Alagoas, Bahia - Introduced, Ceará, Espírito Santo - Introduced, Maranhão, Paraíba, Paraná - Introduced, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro - Introduced, Rio Grande do Norte, Santa Catarina - Introduced, São Paulo - Introduced, Sergipe - Introduced)
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Callithrix jacchus can occur in very high densites.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:An inhabitant of gallery forest, semideciduous and deciduous scrub forest (forest patches in dry caatinga thorn scrub) and humid Atlantic forest of north-eastern Brazil. It is very adaptable, being able to live in urban parks and gardens and rural villages where it is not persecuted and has sufficient food. It has been introduced into many areas outside of its natural range, where it is able to thrive and is believed to compete with and displace other (native) marmosets.

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 1994). They live in extended family groups of between four and 15 individuals. Generally, only one female per group breeds during a particular breeding season.

Callithrix jacchus is a gum-feeding specialist, with gouging lower incisors to excavate holes in gum-producing trees to guarantee gum year-round. This allows it to live in very seasonal habitats, including deciduous forests and scrub in the north-east of Brazil. Associated with its specialization in gum-feeding, it defends home ranges that are much smaller than are typical of the genus: 0.72 to 5.2 ha. Castro (2003) recorded home ranges of 0.3 to 2.4 ha at Níisia Floresta National Forest, Rio Grande do Norte. Maier et al. (1982) and Alonso and Llangguth (1989) recorded home ranges of 2-5 ha in the urban district of João Pessoa, Paraíba, and Mendes Pontes and Monteiro da Cruz (1995) of 4 ha in an urban park in Recife, Pernambuco. Group sizes have been recorded to range from 2 to 15 at the Tapacurá State Ecological Station, Pernambuco (Hubrecht 1985; Scanlon et al. 1988). Usually one female breeds in each group. Twins are produced twice a year.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although widespread and common in many localities, and even replacing other Callithrix species where it has been introduced, C. jacchus populations are declining through habitat destruction in many parts of their distribution (Mittermeier et al. 1988; Coimbra-Filho 1984). There is some limited hunting for pets.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The following protected areas are within the species geographical range (* indicates possibly introduced and mixed populations of C. jacchus and C. penicillata):

Sete Cidades National Park (6,221 ha) PI
Serra da Capivara National Park (97,93 ha) PI
Ubajara National Park (563 ha) CE
Serra Negra Biological Reserve (1,100 ha) PE
Saltinho Biological Reserve (548 ha) PE
Pedra Talhada Biological Reserve (4,469 ha) AL
Guariba Biological Reserve (4,321 ha) PB
Mamanguape Ecological Station (9,992 ha) PB
Seridó Ecological Station (1,116 ha) RN
Itabaiana Ecological Station (1,100 ha)* SE
Uruçuí-Una Ecological Station (135,000 ha) PI
Aiuaba Ecological Station (11,525 ha) CE
Foz do São Francisco Ecological Station (5,322 ha) AL
Raso da Catarina Ecological Reserve (99,772 ha)* BA
Ponta do Cabo Branco State Park (379 ha) PB
Guaramiranga State Park (55 ha) CE
Dunas Costeiras State Park (1,160 ha) RN
Buraquinho State Biological Reserve (471 ha) PB
Tapacurá State Ecological Station (392 ha) PE
Níisia Floresta National Forest (170 ha) (RN) (Castro, 2003)

The Tijuca National Park (3,200 ha), and the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve (5,065 ha), state of Rio de Janeiro, contain an introduced population of C. jacchus.

This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
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 -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ 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: Ongoing    
→ 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: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

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

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Alonso, C. and Langguth, A. 1989. Ecologia e comportamento de Callithrix jacchus (Primates: Callitrichidae) numa ilha de Floresta Atllântica. Revista Nordestina de Biologia 6: 105-137.

Alonso, C., Faria, D. S. de, Langguth, A. and Santee, D. F. 1987. Variação da pelagem na área de intergradação entre Callithrix jacchus e Callithrix penicillata. Revista Brasileira de Biologia 47(4): 465-470.

Coimbra-Filho, A. F. 1972. Aspectos inéditos do comportamento de sagüis do gênero Callithrix (Callithricidae, Primates). Revista Brasiliera de Biologia 32: 505–512.

Coimbra-Filho, A. F. 1984. Situação atual dos calitriquídeos que ocorrem no Brasil (Callitrichidae-Primates). In: M. T. de Mello (ed.), A Primatologia no Brasil,, pp. 15-33. Sociedade Brasileira de Primatologia, Brasília, Brazil.

Coimbra-Filho, A. F. and Câmara, I. de G. 1996. Os Limites Originais do Bioma Mata Atlântica na Região Nordeste do Brasil. Fundação Brasileira para a Conservação da Natureza, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Coimbra-Filho, A. F., Mittermeier, R. A., Rylands, A. B., Mendes, S. L., Kierulff, M. C. M. and Pinto, L. P. de S. 2006. The taxonomic status of Wied’s black-tufted-ear marmoset, Callithrix kuhlii (Callitrichidae, Primates). Primate Conservation 21: 1–24.

Coimbra-Filho, A. F., Pissinatti, A. and Rylands, A. B. 1993. Experimental multiple hybridism among Callithrix species from eastern Brazil. In: A. B. Rylands (ed.), Marmosets and Tamarins: Systematics, Ecology, and Behaviour, pp. 95-120. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Coimbra-Filho, A. F., Rylands, A. B., Pissinatti, A. and Santos, I. B. 1991/1992. The distribution and conservation of the buff-headed capuchin monkey, Cebus xanthosternos, in the Atlantic forest region of eastern Brazil. Primate Conservation 12-13: 24–30.

de Castro, C. S. S. 2003. Tamanho da área de vida e padrão de uso do espaço em grupos de sagüis, Callithrix jacchus (Linnaeus) (Primates, Callithrichidae). Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 20(1): 91-96.

Flesher, K. 2001. Primates of the Chapada das Mangabeiras, Piauí, Brasil, A northern extension to the range of Alouatta caraya. Neotropical Primates 9(1): 19-22.

Groves, C. P. 2001. Primate taxonomy. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Groves, C.P. 2005. Order Primates. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 111-184. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Hershkovitz, P. 1977. Living New World monkeys (Platyrrhini), with an introduction to Primates. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Hubrecht, R. C. 1985. Home range size and use and territorial behavior in the common marmoset, Callithrix jacchus jacchus, at the Tapacura Field Station, Brazil. International Journal of Primatology 6: 533-550.

Maier, W., Alonso. C. and Langguth, A. 1982. Field observations on Callithrix jacchus jacchus. Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde 47: 334-346.

Marroig, G., Cropp, S. and Cheverud, J. M. 2004. Systematics and evolution of the jacchus group of marmosets (Platyrrhini). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 123: 11-22.

Mendes Pontes, A. R. and Monteiro da Cruz, M. A. O. 1995. Home range, intergroup transfers, and reproductive status of common marmosets, Callithrix jacchus, in a forest fragment in north-eastern Brazil. Primates 36: 335-347.

Mittermeier, R. A., Rylands, A. B. and Coimbra-Filho, A. F. 1988. Systematics: species and subspecies - an update. In: R. A. Mittermeier, A. B. Rylands, A. F. Coimbra-Filho and G. A. B. da Fonseca (eds), Ecology and Behavior of Neotropical Primates, pp. 13-75. World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC, USA.

Ruiz-Miranda, C. R., Affonso, A. G., Martins, A. and Beck, B. 2000. Distribuição do sagüi (Callithrix jacchus) nas áreas de ocorrência do mico-leão-dourado (Leontopithecus rosalia) no estado do Rio de Janeiro. Neotropical Primates 8(3): 98-101.

Rylands, A. B. 1984. Exudate-eating and tree-gouging by marmosets (Callitrichidae, Primates). In: A. C. Chadwick and S. L. Sutton (eds), Tropical Rain Forest: The Leeds Symposium, pp. 155–168. Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, Leeds, UK.

Rylands, A. B., Coimbra-Filho, A. F. and Mittermeier, R. A. 1993. Systematics, distributions, and some notes on the conservation status of the Callitrichidae. In: A. B. Rylands (ed.), Marmosets and Tamarins: Systematics, Behaviour and Ecology, pp. 11-77. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Rylands, A. B., Mittermeier, R. A. and Coimbra-Filho, A. F. 2008. The systematics and distributions of the marmosets (Callithrix, Callibella, Cebuella, and Mico) and callimico (Callimico) (Callitrichidae, Primates). In: S. M. Ford, L. C. Davis and L. Porter (eds), The Smallest Anthropoids: The Marmoset/Callimico Radiation, Springer, New York, USA.

Santos, C. V., Luz, K. P. and Sant’anna, F. S. 2005. As três espécies de primates do gênero Callithrix (C. jacchus, C. penicillata e C. geoffroyi) introduzidos na Ilha de Santa Catarina – SC: A importância de pesquisa na implantação do manejo.: 13-18. Porto Alegre, Santos.

Scanlon, C. E., Chalmers, N. R. and Monteiro da Cruz, M. A. O. 1988. Changes in the size, composition, and reproductive condition of wild marmoset groups (Callithrix jacchus jacchus) in north east Brazil. Primates 29: 295-305.

Silva Jr., J. de S. 1999. Novos dados sobre ocorrências e uso de habitat pelo sagüi-do-nordeste, Callithrix jacchus (Primates: Callitrichidae). Livro de Resumos. IX Congresso Brasileiro de Primatologia: 77. Santa Teresa.

Citation: Rylands, A.B, Mittermeier, R.A., de Oliveira, M.M. & Kierulff, M.C.M. 2008. Callithrix jacchus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41518A10485463. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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