Skip to main content

A New Subspecies of Saguinus fuscicollis (Primates, Callitrichidae)


Saddleback tamarins (Saguinus fuscicollis, S. melanoleucus, and S. tripartitus) occur in the upper Amazon, west of the rios Madeira and Mamoré–Guaporé to the Andes. They currently comprise 13 species and subspecies in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Here we report on a previously undescribed subspecies of Saguinus fuscicollis from the interfluvium of the lower rios Madeira and Purus in the central Amazon of Brazil. It is a distinct form with a very pronounced mottling on the back giving the appearance of a saddle, a characteristic shared by the 3 species, and the reason for their collective common name. The lack of a white superciliary chevron and its highly mottled ochraceous-dark brown to black saddle that extends from the scapular region to the base of the tail distinguish the new taxon from Saguinus fuscicollis weddelli. The latter characteristic also distinguishes it from another saddleback tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis ssp.) that has been reported immediately to the south of its range in the same interfluvium. We compare pelage coloration, external characters and craniometric measurements with its geographically closest relatives, Saguinus fuscicollis weddelli and S. f. avilapiresi, and indicate its probable geographic distribution in a small area between the rios Madeira and Purus, just south of the Rio Amazonas.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6


  1. Van Roosmalen (2003) named the saddleback tamarin he described, but only on his website ( Article 11 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) (1999, 4th edition, published by the Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, London) states that “To be available, a name or, where relevant, a nomenclatural act must satisfy the following provisions: 11.1 The name or nomenclatural act must have been published, in the meaning of Article 8, after 1757.” Article 8 considers what constitutes published work, and refers to Article 9 that lists what is not considered to be a published work. This includes (9.8) “text or illustrations distributed by means of electronic signals (e.g. by means of the World Wide Web.” Until the description of Van Roosmalen’s (2003) tamarin is published according to the regulations of the ICZN, the name remains unavailable.


  • Buchanan-Smith, H. M. (1990). Polyspecific association of two tamarin species Saguinus labiatus and Saguinus fuscicollis in Bolivia. American Journal of Primatology, 22, 205–214. doi:10.1002/ajp.1350220306.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Buchanan-Smith, H. M. (1999). Tamarin polyspecific associations: Forest utilization and stability of mixed-species groups. Primates, 40, 233–247. doi:10.1007/BF02557713.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Buchanan-Smith, H. M., Hardie, S. M., Caceres, C., & Prescott, M. J. (2000). Distribution and forest utilization of Saguinus and other primates of the Pando Department, northern Bolivia. International Journal of Primatology, 21, 353–379. doi:10.1023/A:1005483601403.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • de Carvalho, C. T. (1957). Nova subespécie de saguim da Amazônia. Revista Brasileira de Biologia, 17, 219–222.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dunne, T., Mertes, L. A., Meade, R. H., Richey, J. E., & Forsberg, B. R. (1998). Exchanges of sediment between the floodplain and channel of the Amazon River in Brazil. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 110, 163–182. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(1998)110<0163:DAEOAN>2.3.CO;2.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Egler, S. G. (1991). Double-toothed kites following tamarins. The Wilson Bulletin, 103, 510–512.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fearnside, P. M., & Graça, L. A. (2006). BR-319: Brazil’s Manaus-Porto Velho highway and the potential impact of linking the arc of deforestation to central Amazonia. Environmental Management, 38, 705–716. doi:10.1007/s00267-005-0295-y.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Ferrari, S. F., & Lopes, M. A. (1992). New data on the distribution of primates in the region of the confluence of the Jiparana and Madeira rivers in Amazonas and Rondônia, Brazil. Goeldiana Zoologia, (11), 1–13.

  • Garber, P. A. (1993). Feeding ecology and behaviour of the genus Saguinus. In A. B. Rylands (Ed.), Marmosets and tamarins: Systematics, behaviour, and ecology (pp. 273–295). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hershkovitz, P. (1966). On the identification of some marmosets Family Callitrichidae (Primates). Mammalia, 20, 327–332.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hershkovitz, P. (1977). Living New World monkeys (Platyrrhini) with an introduction to Primates, vol. 1. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heymann, E. W. (1990). Reactions of wild tamarins, Saguinus mystax and Saguinus fuscicollis to avian predators. International Journal of Primatology, 11, 327–337. doi:10.1007/BF02193004.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Heymann, E. W., & Buchanan-Smith, H. M. (2000). The behavioural ecology of mixed-species troops of callitrichine primates. Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 75, 169–190. doi:10.1017/S0006323199005460.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Peres, C. A. (1992). Prey-capture benefits in a mixed-species group of Amazonian tamarins Saguinus fuscicollis and Saguinus mystax. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 31, 339–347. doi:10.1007/BF00177774.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Peres, C. A. (1993a). Notes on the primates of the Juruá River, western Brazilian Amazonia. Folia Primatologica, 61, 97–103. doi:10.1159/000156735.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Peres, C. A. (1993b). Structure and spatial organization of an Amazonian terra firme forest primate community. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 9, 259–276.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Peres, C. A. (1993c). Anti-predation benefits in a mixed-species group of Amazonian tamarins. Folia Primatologica, 61(2), 61–76. doi:10.1159/000156732.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Peres, C. A., Patton, J. L., & da Silva, M. N. F. (1996). Riverine barriers and gene flow in Amazonian saddle-back tamarins. Folia Primatologica, 67, 113–124.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Porter, L. M. (2001). Dietary differences among sympatric Callitrichidae in northern Bolívia: Callimico goeldii, Saguinus fuscicollis and S. labiatus. International Journal of Primatology, 22, 961–992. doi:10.1023/A:1012013621258.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Prance, G. T. (1987). Vegetation. In T. C. Whitmore & G. T. Prance (Eds.), Biogeography and quaternary history in tropical America (pp. 28–45). Oxford: Oxford Science Publications, Clarendon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Röhe, F. (2007). Mamíferos de médio e grande porte do médio Rio Madeira. In L. Rapp Py-Daniel, C. P. Deus, A. L. Henriquez, D. M. Pimpão & O. M. Ribeiro (Eds.), Biodiversidade do Médio Madeira: Bases cientificas para propostas de conservação (pp. 195–209). Manaus: Instituto Nacional de pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA).

    Google Scholar 

  • Rylands, A. B. (1996). Habitat and the evolution of social and reproductive behavior in Callitrichidae. American Journal of Primatology, 38, 5–18.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rylands, A. B., Coimbra-Filho, A. F., & Mittermeier, R. A. (1993). Systematics, distributions and some notes on the conservation status of the Callitrichidae. In A. B. Rylands (Ed.), Marmosets and tamarins: Systematics, behaviour, and ecology (pp.11–77). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rylands, A. B., Schneider, H., Langguth, A., Groves, C. P., & Rodriguez-Luna, E. (2000). An assessment of the diversity of New World Monkeys. Neotropical Primates, 8, 61–93.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rylands, A. B., Mittermeier, R. A., Coimbra-Filho, A. F., Heymann, E. W., de la Torre, S., Silva, J. S., Jr., et al. (2008). Marmosets and tamarins—Pocket identification guide. Arlington, VA: Conservation International.

    Google Scholar 

  • Soares-Filho, B. S., Nepstad, D. C., Curran, L. M., Cerqueira, G. C., Garcia, R. A., Ramos, C. A., et al. (2006). Modelling conservation in the Amazon basin. Nature, 440, 520–523. doi:10.1038/nature04389.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Van Roosmalen, M. G. M. (2003). New species from Amazonia. Retrieved from (Accessed September 26, 2003). See also (Accessed December 29, 2008).

Download references


This new tamarin subspecies was discovered during an expedition conducted as part of the project Biodiversity of the Madeira–Purus Interfluvium, an initiative of the Geoma network of Brazil’s Ministry of Science and Technology (Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia [MCT]). We thank the staff and curators who gave us access to the Mammal collections of the National Institute for Amazon Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia [INPA]), Manaus, the Emilio Goeldi Museum (Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi [MPEG]), Belém, and the Zoology Museum of the University of São Paulo (Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de São Paulo [MZUSP]), São Paulo. Petrobrás kindly provided use of a helicopter during the expedition, and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Conservation Leadership Program (CLP) provided financial support to Fabio Röhe. Adriano C. S. Antunes prepared the type specimens. The illustration of Saguinus fuscicollis mura was drawn by Stephen D. Nash, Stony Brook University, New York. We thank an anonymous reviewer for valuable comments.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Fabio Röhe.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Röhe, F., e Silva, J.d., Sampaio, R. et al. A New Subspecies of Saguinus fuscicollis (Primates, Callitrichidae). Int J Primatol 30, 533–551 (2009).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Callitrichidae
  • Central Amazon
  • geographic distribution
  • Primates
  • Saguinus fuscicollis ssp. n.