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 specialisation 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.
This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES. Callithrix jacchus can be found in all protected areas within its original geographical range, in caatinga and Atlantic Forest.
CLASS : Mammalia
ORDER : Primates
FAMILY : Callitrichidae
GENUS : Callithrix
SPECIES : Common Marmoset (Callithrix jacchus)
Conservation status : Least Concern
Update : 06 April 2017