Saddleback tamarin

Saguinus fuscicollis

TAXONOMY

Midas fuscicollis Spix, 1823, Brazil. Twelve subspecies (some or most of which may represent their own species).

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Tamarin a dos brun; German: Braunruckentamarin; Spanish: Bebeleche (Colombia), chichico (Ecuador), pichico (Peru).

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Weight: 10.2-14.8 oz (290-420 g); head and body length: 7.9-10.6 in (20-27 cm); tail length: 11.4-15 in (29-38 cm). It is the smallest member of the genus. Fur occurs on the dorsal side of the head and body tripartite, with an agouti-colored saddle in the middle.

DISTRIBUTION

Central and western Amazonia.

HABITAT

Tropical rainforest.

H Saguinus fuscicollis H Leontopithecus rosalia H Leontopithecus chrysomelas

BEHAVIOR

Saddle-back tamarin groups comprise 3-10 individuals, with 1-2 adults of each sex, and immature individuals of different ages. Home-range size varies between 25-495 acres (10-200 ha), according to population. Most or all group members at the same place perform scent marking throughout the home range, often simultaneously. In areas of sympatry, saddle-back tamarins form mixed-species troops with mustached tamarins, red-bellied tamarins, and emperor tamarins. East of the Rio Madeira, saddleback tamarins have also been observed in association with a marmoset species.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Saddle-back tamarins are primarily frugivorous and insectivorous, but supplement their diet with exudates, nectar, small vertebrates, and soil from arboreal termite mounds. Depending on availability, nectar or exudates may become the dietary staples when fruits are scarce. They search for prey in the leaf litter, and dip into tree holes, crevices, and bromeliads.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Flexible mating system includes polyandry, monogamy, and polygyny. Reproduction is moderately seasonal, usually one birth per year. Estrus cycle duration averages about 25.7 days, and gestation length is 148-152 days. Adult males are the principal carriers of infants.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

They are kept as pets in habitat countries and used as models in biomedical research. ♦

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