International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 467–476

Diet of Buffy Tufted-Eared Marmosets (Callithrix aurita) in a Forest Fragment in Southeastern Brazil

  • Milene M. Martins
  • Eleonore Z. F. Setz

DOI: 10.1023/A:1005491903220

Cite this article as:
Martins, M.M. & Setz, E.Z.F. International Journal of Primatology (2000) 21: 467. doi:10.1023/A:1005491903220


The feeding ecology of the Atlantic forest marmosets (Callithrix spp.) in southeastern Brazil is poorly known, and few studies have focused on buffy tufted-eared marmosets, Callithrix aurita. We determined the food items and investigated the seasonal variation in the diet of a group of four Callithrix aurita in a 17-ha semideciduous forest fragment in southern Minas Gerais State, Brazil. We recorded daily feeding activities between October 1994 and September 1995 using scan sampling at 5-min intervals. The marmosets devoted feeding time to gums (50.5%), fruits (11%), and animal prey (38.5%) in a total of 499 records. Plant resources comprised 27 species from 16 families. They used Acacia paniculata (Mimosoideae, Leguminosae), the main gum source (82%), year-round. Maclura tinctoria (Moraceae) was the fruit species that they consumed most (22%). The marmosets preyed on caterpillars (33%), katydids (5%), and homopterans (4%). Feeding on fruits varied seasonally and was inversely related to gum feeding. Consumption of animal prey remained constant over the year. The wide and year-round dependence on gum suggests that Acacia may play a critical role in marmoset persistence in forest fragments.

Callithrix aurita diet forest fragment seasonality southeastern Brazil 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milene M. Martins
    • 1
  • Eleonore Z. F. Setz
    • 2
  1. 1.PG Zoologia, Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de BiociênciasUniversidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP-Rio Claro)Rio Claro, SPBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)Campinas, SPBrazil