Cebus apella ssp. margaritae


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Cebus apella ssp. margaritae
Species Authority: Hollister, 1914
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Margarita Island Capuchin
Taxonomic Notes: Silva Jr (2001, 2002) argued that the tufted capuchins and the untufted capuchins (sensu Hershkovitz 1949, 1955) are so distinct in their morphology that they should be considered separate genera. Cebus Erxleben, 1777 for the untufted group, and Sapajus Kerr, 1792 is the name available for the tufted capuchins.

Taxonomy of the tufted capuchins (sensu Hershkovitz 1949, 1955) follows Silva Jr (2001), who did not recognize any subspecific forms. Groves (2001, 2005) presented an alternative taxonomy for the tufted capuchins as follows: C. apella apella (Linnaeus, 1758); C. apella fatuellus (Linnaeus, 1766); C. apella macrocephalus Spix, 1823; C. apella peruanus Thomas, 1901; C. apella tocantinus Lönnberg, 1939; C. apella ?margaritae Hollister, 1914; C. libidinosus libidinosus Spix, 1823; C. libidinosus pallidus Gray, 1866; C. libidinosus paraguayanus Fischer, 1829; C. libidinosus juruanus Lönnberg, 1939; C. nigritus nigritus (Goldfuss, 1809); C. nigritus robustus Kuhl, 1820; C. nigritus cucullatus Spix, 1823; C. xanthosternos Wied-Neuwied, 1826 (see Fragaszy et al., 2004; Rylands et al., 2005).

Groves (2001) and Silva Jr. (2001) differ in their definitions of the forms Cebus apella (Linnaeus, 1758) and Cebus macrocephalus Spix, 1823. Cebus apella fatuellus (Linnaeus, 1766), C. apella peruanus Thomas, 1901, and C. libidinosus juruanus Lönnberg, 1939 recognized by Groves (2001) are considered junior synonyms of C. macrocephalus by Silva Jr. (2001). C. apella tocantinus Lönnberg, 1939 recognized by Groves (2001) is considered a junior synonym of C. apella by Silva Jr. (2001).

Whereas all other tufted capuchins are considered species (following Silva Jr., 2001), the taxonomic status of the Margarita island capuchin has still to be reviewed. Silva Jr. (2001) did not examine specimens from the Island of Margarita, Venezuela. Groves (2001; see also Linares 1998) supposed that it was introduced in Pre-Columbian times, and found it to be more closely allied to C. a. fatuellus than with C. a. apella. (Note that C. a. fatuellus is recognized as a valid subspecies by Groves but considered by Silva Jr (2001) to be a junior synonym of C. macrocephalus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered C1+2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Ceballos, N.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
Listed as Critically Endangered as the total population of this subspecies is estimated at less than 300 individuals total, with all individuals confined to forest fragments on Margarita Island off the coast of Venezuela where no subpopulation is believed to number more than 50 mature individuals. In the face on ongoing habitat loss and hunting, it is also not unreasonable to expect a 25% decline in the population over the next 15 years.
2000 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
1996 Critically Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of (Venezuelan Antilles)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Systems: Terrestrial

Citation: Ceballos, N. 2008. Cebus apella ssp. margaritae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 31 March 2015.
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