Pygmy marmoset (Cebuella pygmaea)

loading
Juvenile pygmy marmoset portrait
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Pygmy marmoset fact file

Pygmy marmoset description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderPrimates
FamilyCallitrichidae
GenusCebuella (1)

The diminutive pygmy marmoset is the smallest monkey in the world (4). Its tiny body has greyish, black mixed with buff, or brownish-gold fur on the back, sometimes with a greenish tinge, and white, tawny or orangish fur on the underparts (2). The squirrel-like hands and feet are yellowish or orangish (2) (5), and bear sharp claw-like nails which are suited to clinging to trees (4). The tail has indistinct dark rings on a lighter background (2) (5). A longer mane of hair surrounds the face, covering the ears (5), and white marks at the edges of the mouth and a white vertical line on the nose are thought to make communication through facial expressions more conspicuous in the dim light of dense forest (4). Female pygmy marmosets are slightly heavier than males (5). It is a fairly quiet monkey, but can produce a variety of vocalisations for communicating, including a high, sharp warning whistle and a clicking sound to indicate threat (2).

Synonyms
Callithrix pygmaea.
Spanish
Chambira, Chichico, Leonzito, Micoleãozinho, Mono De Bolsillo, Titi-pielroja.
Size
Head-body length: 117 – 152 mm (2)
Tail length: 172 – 229 mm (2)
Weight
107 – 141 g (2)
Top

Pygmy marmoset biology

This tree-dwelling primate is solely active during the daylight hours, particularly in the cooler mornings and late afternoons (2). It lives in stable troops of 2 to 15 individuals, usually consisting of an adult pair and their offspring (2). They rest huddled together at night, often in a dense tangle of vines (4), around seven to ten metres above the ground (2).

Moving around its forest habitat by running along branches, up and down trunks, and leaping between trees, the pygmy marmoset feeds on fruits, buds, insects, and exudates from trees (2). Its lower canine teeth are specially suited to gouging holes in trees to enable it to feed on exudates, and within the range of each marmoset group one or more trees can be found which are riddled with holes (2).

The majority of pygmy marmoset births occur in two peaks each year: between November and January, and May and June (2). In captivity, gestation lasts around 20 weeks and most of the births are of twins (2) (5). Sexual maturity is reached between 18 and 24 months and one pygmy marmoset is known to have lived for over 11 years (2).

Top

Pygmy marmoset range

The pygmy marmoset inhabits the Amazon basin (5). Two subspecies are recognised: Cebuella pygmaea pygmaea is found in the state of Amazonas, Brazil, (north of the Rio Solimões), eastern Peru (north of the Río Maranõn), southern Colombia, northern Bolivia and north-eastern Ecuador. Cebuella pygmaea niveiventris also occurs in the state of Amazonas, Brazil, eastern Peru, and as far south as northern Bolivia, but is found south of the Rio Solimões and Río Maranõn (1).

Top

Pygmy marmoset habitat

This tiny primate inhabits lowland, tropical evergreen forests, most often on river floodplains (5), showing a preference for areas which are flooded for more than three months of the year (4). It seems able to tolerate disturbed habitats (4).

Top

Pygmy marmoset status

The pygmy marmoset is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1) and listed on Appendix I of CITES (3).

Subspecies: Eastern pygmy marmoset (C. p. niveiventris) is also classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern

Top

Pygmy marmoset threats

The pygmy marmoset faces no significant threats and is therefore classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List (1). Despite significant habitat destruction occurring in some parts of its range, this does not seem to have affected pygmy marmoset numbers (4). However, some populations, such as in the Putumayo region of Colombia, may be impacted by collection for the pet trade (2), and those inhabiting areas visited heavily by tourists exhibited slightly different behaviour, which has raised some concern that this may affect their reproductive capabilities (4).

Top

Pygmy marmoset conservation

The pygmy marmoset is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), meaning that any international trade in this species should be carefully monitored (3). To reduce habitat degradation and human disturbances, there have been some efforts to raise awareness in local communities. For example, a programme in Ecuador was initiated to educate children in the importance of conserving primates (4). Such efforts are vital if the pygmy marmoset it to remain globally unthreatened.

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
Top

Find out more

For further information on the pygmy marmoset see:

 

Top

Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

Top

Glossary

Exudates
Substances that ooze out of plants, such as gum, sap, resin and latex.
Gestation
The state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth.
Subspecies
A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.
Top

References

  1. IUCN Red List (March, 2010)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. Nowak, R.M. (1999) Walker's Mammals of the World. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London.
  3. CITES (June, 2007)
    http://www.cites.org
  4. Cawthon Lang, K.A. (2005) Primate Factsheets: Pygmy marmoset (Callithrix pygmaea). Primate Info Net, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Available at:
    http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/pygmy_marmoset
  5. Townsend, W.R. (2001) Callithrix pygmaea. Mammalian Species, 665: 1 - 6.
X
Close

Image credit

Juvenile pygmy marmoset portrait  
Juvenile pygmy marmoset portrait

© Rod Williams / naturepl.com

Nature Picture Library
5a Great George Street
Bristol
BS1 5RR
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 117 911 4675
Fax: +44 (0) 117 911 4699
info@naturepl.com
http://www.naturepl.com

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Pygmy marmoset (Cebuella pygmaea) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog