Black Tufted-ear Marmoset (Callithrix penicillata)

The black tufted-ear marmoset has nonopposable thumbs and nails of the digits which are claw-like.

The black tufted-ear marmoset is endemic to the forests and savannas of Brazil, which tend to be seasonal habitats (Rylands et al., 1993).

Gums make up >70 % of the plant part of the diet of the black tufted-ear marmoset (Fonseca and Lacher, 1984). Being highly gummivorous may explain why the black tufted-ear marmoset has a small home range (Rylands and de Faria, 1993).

This species moves through the forest quadrupedally, but is capable of leaping (Fleagle, 1988).

This species is reproductively monogamous.


The black tufted-ear marmoset scent-marks at tree sap holes which may communicate time between usage for a specific group, preventing two different groups meeting at the same holes in a tree at the same time (Lacher et al., 1981).

suprapubic marking: this is when an individual presses the suprapubic pad against a substrate and deposits secretions by pulling itself along or by pushing itself with its feet (Epple et al., 1993). This behavior pattern is frequent in the black tufted-ear marmoset and can occur more frequently by an individual where the home ranges of two groups overlap, thus suggesting a use for demarcation of territory (Rylands, 1990).



This species gives birth to twins (Fleagle, 1988).

Epple, G., Belcher, A.M., Kuderling, I., Zeller, U., Scolnick, L., Greenfield, K.L., Smith III, A.B. 1993. Making Sense Out of Scents: Species Differences in Scent Glands, Scent-marking Behaviour, and Scent-mark Composition in the Callitrichdae. in Marmosets and Tamarins: Systematics, Behaviour, and Ecology. ed. Anthony B. Rylands, Oxford University Press.

Fleagle, J. G. 1988. Primate Adaptation and Evolution. Academic Press.

Fonseca, G.A.B. and Lacher, T.E.,Jr. 1984. Exudate-feeding by Callithrix jacchus penicillata in Semideciduous Woodland (Cerradao) in Central Brazil. Primates. Vol.25, 441-450.

Lacher, T.E., Jr, Fonseca, G.A.B. da, Alves, C., Jr, and Magalhaes-Castro, B. 1981. Exudate-eating, Scent Marking and Territoriality in a Wild Population of Marmosets. Animal Behaviour. Vol.29, 307-307.

Rylands, A.B. 1990. Scent Marking Behaviour of Wild Marmosets, Callithrix humeralifer (Callitrichidae, Primates). In Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 5. (ed. D.W. Macdonald, D. Muller-Schwarze, and S.E. Natynczuk), pp. 415-29. Oxford University Press.

Rylands, Anthony B. and de Faria, Doris S. 1993. Habitats, Feeding Ecology, and Home Range Size in the genus Callithrix. in Marmosets and Tamarins: Systematics, Behaviour, and Ecology. ed. Anthony B. Rylands. Oxford University Press.

Rylands, A.B., Coimbra-Filho, A.F., and Mittermeier, R.A. 1993. Systematics, Geographic Distribution, and Some Notes on the Conservation Status of the Callitrichidae. In Marmosets and Tamarins: Systematics, Behaviour, and Ecology. Oxford University Press.

Last Updated: May 17, 2007.
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