Callicebus torquatusyellow-handed titi

Geographic Range

Yellow-handed titis are found in lowland forests around the Amazon, Orinoco, Rio Maranon, and Guianas rivers in the northern part of their range, and south to the Rio Puru. (Macdonald, 2001)


Yellow-handed titis are found in tall, mature, un-flooded forests. They prefer forests on nutrient-deficient, white sand soils. (Eisenberg and Redford, 1999)

Physical Description

Yellow-handed titis have reddish brown to black fur covering most of their bodies, white marks on their faces, black legs, feet, and forearms, buff-colored hands, and brown to black non-prehensile tails. They are the biggest of all Callicebus species, with a head-body length of 339 mm and a tail length of 460 mm. In some parts of their range rare individuals have a reduction in melanin pigment, creating a creamish colored fur. (Eisenberg and Redford, 1999; Macdonald, 2001)

  • Range mass
    1100 to 1500 g
    38.77 to 52.86 oz
  • Range length
    230 to 360 mm
    9.06 to 14.17 in


Yellow-handed titis are apparently monogamous, travelling as a bonded pair with their offspring up to three years old. (Eisenberg and Redford, 1999)

General reproduction information is difficult to find for yellow-handed titis. In the related species, dusky titis (C. moloch), one young is born at about 70 grams, with births in the wild occurring from December to April. Gestation length in dusky titis is 5 to 6 months, and young are nursed for 12 to 16 weeks. Dusky titis have an interbirth interval of one year. (Nowak, 1999)

  • Breeding interval
    Breeding intervals in yellow-handed titis are not known.
  • Breeding season
    Yellow-handed titis are probably seasonal breeders, but information is not yet available on breeding season.
  • Range number of offspring
    1 to 1

Males of species in the genus Callicebus are reported to lead group movements, searching for food, and often care for infants when they aren't nursing from their mothers. Information specific to yellow-handed titis is not available. (Nowak, 1999)

  • Parental Investment
  • altricial
  • pre-fertilization
    • provisioning
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-hatching/birth
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-weaning/fledging
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • male
  • pre-independence
    • protecting
      • male
  • post-independence association with parents
  • extended period of juvenile learning


No information on the longevity of yellow-handed titis in the wild or in captivity was found.


Yellow-handed titis are diurnal and arboreal rainforest primates. The majority of their feeding time is in the early morning, by the middle of the day they have a long resting session. After that they have another feeding period followed by a search for a sleeping tree before dusk. Territorial groups of two to seven members are led by an adult male. That adult male leads all group movements, carries infants when they are not nursing, and searches for food trees. (Nowak, 1999)

  • Average territory size
    200,000 m^2

Home Range

Callicebus torquatus has a home range of nearly 20 hectares. (Nowak, 1999)

Communication and Perception

Callicebus species use a wide variety of vocalizations and visual signals for communication. Individuals also intertwine their tails when they sit side by side. Like most mammals, chemical signals are also important, helping to identify individuals and reproductive states. (Nowak, 1999)

Food Habits

Yellow-handed titis eat mainly fruits and seeds, although they will also eat leaves and insects. About 70% of feeding time is spent on eating or finding fruits and seeds. Troop members almost always eat the same foods at the same food trees. Feeding bouts occur 2 to 5 times a day, usually in the morning, late morning, and afternoon. (Eisenberg and Redford, 1999; Kinzey, 1977)

  • Animal Foods
  • insects
  • Plant Foods
  • leaves
  • seeds, grains, and nuts
  • fruit


No information on predators of yellow-handed titis was found. Masked titis (C. personatus), a closely related species, is preyed on by birds of prey, felids, and snakes. (Muller, et al., 1997)

Ecosystem Roles

Yellow-handed titis help to disperse seeds of the fruits that they eat. They may also be important prey for some predators.

  • Ecosystem Impact
  • disperses seeds

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Yellow-handed titis are important members of their forest ecosystems, helping to maintain tree regeneration through seed dispersal. They may also help to attract ecotourism money to local areas.

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no adverse effects of yellow-handed titis on humans.

Conservation Status

Yellow-handed titis are listed on CITES Appendix II list and are considered Least Concern by the IUCN. The greatest threat to these monkeys is habitat destruction. (Nowak, 1999)


Tanya Dewey (editor), Animal Diversity Web.

Dan Wildeck (author), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Chris Yahnke (editor, instructor), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.



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

World Map


uses sound to communicate


young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.


Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.

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.


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate


active at dawn and dusk

  1. active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.

humans benefit economically by promoting tourism that focuses on the appreciation of natural areas or animals. Ecotourism implies that there are existing programs that profit from the appreciation of natural areas or animals.


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 mainly eats fruit


an animal that mainly eats seeds


An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.


having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.


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 one mate at a time.


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.


Referring to something living or located adjacent to a waterbody (usually, but not always, a river or stream).


remains in the same area


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


Living on the ground.


defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement


the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.


uses sight to communicate


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


Eisenberg, J., K. Redford. 1999. Mammals of the neotropics: the central neotropics. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Kinzey, W. 1977. Diet and feeding behavior of Callicebus torquatus. Pp. 127-151 in T Clutton-Brock, ed. Primate Ecology. London: Academic Press.

Macdonald, D. 2001. Yellow-handed titi. Pp. 350 in Encyclopedia of Mammals, Vol. 1, 1 Edition. New York: Barnes and Noble Inc.

Muller, K., C. Alh, G. Hartmann. 1997. Geography in masked titi monkeys. Primates, 38(1): 69-77.

Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's primates of the world. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press.

Rylands, A., M. Bampi, A. Chiarello, G. da Fonseca, S. Mendes, M. Marcelino. 2003. "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species" (On-line). Accessed November 03, 2006 at