Black-Tufted Marmoset

Black-Tufted Marmoset

The Black-Tufted Marmoset (Callithrix Penicillata) is a New World Monkey in the Callitrichidae family of monkeys and lives primarily in the Neo-tropical gallery forests of the Brazilian Central Plateau. The Black-Tufted Marmoset is characterized by black tufts of hair around their ears, and it typically has some sparse white hairs on its face with brown or black head and its limbs. Their upper bodies are gray, as well as its abdomen, while its rump and underside are typically black.


The Black-Tufted Marmoset usually resides in rainforests high up in the trees but below the canopy. It is typically found between 14 and 25 degrees south of the equator, and ranges from Bahia to Paraná and as far inland as Goiás. It is very rare to see a Black-Tufted Marmoset at ground level, though during periods of drought it may come down to scavenge for food and water.


The Black-Tufted Marmoset’s diet consists primarily of tree sap which it obtains by chewing through the bark with its long lower incisors. In periods of drought, it will also include fruit and insects in its diet. In periods of sustained and serious droughts, it will adapt to eat small arthropods, mollusks, bird eggs, baby birds, and other small vertebrates.

Fun Black-Tufted Marmoset Facts

  1. Marmoset monkeys usually have twins, but triplets and quadruplets also occur.
  2. “Marmoset” is derived from the French “marmouset” which means, loosely, shrimp or dwarf. An apt name, considering they are the smallest of the true monkeys (the lightest of the true monkeys is the pygmy marmoset).
  3. The Black-Tufted Marmoset carries specific positive effects by being a highly valuable exotic pet.
  4. The Black-Tufted Marmoset has an average full-grown weight of a mere 12 ounces.
  5. The differences between monkeys and apes are easy to see once you know what to look for. Apes do not have a tail and are generally larger than most other primates. They have a more upright body posture as well. Apes rely more on vision than on smell and have a short broad nose rather than a snout, as Old World monkeys do.