Callithrix auritawhite-eared marmoset

Geographic Range

Callithrix aurita is endemic to the Atlantic forest of south-east Brazil. They occupy the montane forests of south-east Brazil in the southern part ofMinas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and the east and north-eastao Paulo. They are the most southern distributed species in the Callithrix. (Hershkovitz 1977, Rylands 1993)


Callithrix aurita live in subtropical forests at elevation between 400 to 500m. They use all parts of the forest. They seem to prefer to forage below 5 meters. They don't come down to the ground unless they are feeding. (Muskin 1984)

Physical Description

The body of Callithix aurita is mostly black. The tail is black annulated with black and gray. There are white spots on the forehead. The most distinguishing character is the extremely long white hair coming out of the ears. The lower incisors are small compared to other Callithrix because this species does not use its incisors to obtain plant exudates by perforating tree bark. Their body size is small. (Hershkovitz 19977, Muskin 1984, Natori et al 1992)

  • Average mass
    306 g
    10.78 oz


Most Callithrix aurita give birth to two young during spring each year. Gestation period is about 170 days, ranging from 138 days to 170 days. (Hershkovitz 1997)

  • Breeding interval
    Callithrix aurita breeds once each year.
  • Average number of offspring
  • Range gestation period
    138 to 170 days


Callithrix aurita forms social groups. Individuals can join or leave social groups when they please. Because of their fur coloration and small in size, they are very agile and hard to detect and observe. (Muskin 1984)

Communication and Perception

Food Habits

Callithrix aurita is primarily insectivorous. Their diet includes ants, termites, larvae, caterpillars, insect galls, and large-winged insects. This particular marmoset species does not feed on plant exudates as all other closely related marmoset species do. (Muskin 1984)

  • Animal Foods
  • insects

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Callithrix aurita are captured as pets. They are prized by some Europeans. (Hershkovitz 1977)

Conservation Status


Michael Kuo (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.



living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.

World Map

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.


an animal that mainly eats meat


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate


animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.


forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.


An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.


offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).


having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.


rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


associates with others of its species; forms social groups.


uses touch to communicate


reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.


Hershkovitz, P. 1977. Living New World Monkeys (Platyrrihini) Volume 1. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Muskin, A. 1984. Field Notes and Geographic Distribution of Callithrix aurita in Eastern Brazil. American Journal of Primatology, 7: 377-380.

Natori, M., N. Shigenara. 1992. Interspecific Differences in Lower Dentition Among Eastern-Brazilian Marmosets. Journal of Mammology, 73: 668-671.

Rylands, A. 1993. Marmosets and Tamarins: Systematics, Behaviour, and Ecology. New York: Oxford University Press.