Titi monkey

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(Redirected from Callicebinae)

Brown titi (Plecturocebus brunneus)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Pitheciidae
Subfamily: Callicebinae
Pocock, 1925


The titis, or titi monkeys, are New World monkeys of the subfamily Callicebinae, which contains three extant genera: Cheracebus, Callicebus, and Plecturocebus.[1][2] This subfamily also contains the extinct genera Miocallicebus, Homunculus, and Carlocebus.[3]

Titi monkeys live in South America, from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, east through Brazil, and south to Bolivia and northern Paraguay.


Depending on species, titis have a head and body length of 23–46 centimetres (9.1–18.1 in), and a tail, which is longer than the head and body, of 26–56 centimetres (10–22 in).[4] The different titi species vary substantially in coloring, but resemble each other in most other physical ways. They have long, soft fur, and it is usually reddish, brownish, grayish or blackish, and in most species the underside is lighter or more reddish than the upperside. Some species have contrasting blackish or whitish foreheads, while all members of the genus Cheracebus have a white half-collar.[5] The tail is always furry and is not prehensile.


Diurnal and arboreal, titis predominantly prefer dense forests near water. They easily jump from branch to branch, earning them their German name, Springaffen (jumping monkeys). They sleep at night, but can also take a midday nap.

Titis are territorial. They live in family groups that consist of parents and their offspring, about two to seven animals in total. They defend their territory by shouting and chasing off intruders, but rarely engage in actual fighting.[4] Their grooming and communication is important for the co-operation of the group. They can typically be seen in pairs sitting or sleeping with tails entwined.

The diet of the titis consists mainly of fruits, although they also eat leaves, flowers, insects, bird eggs and small vertebrates.[4]

Titis are monogamous, mating for life. The female bears a single young after about a five-month gestation. Twins occur rarely, having been documented in only 1.4% of all births in captive groups of Plecturocebus moloch.[6] While the second infant usually does not survive, cases where neighbouring groups have adopted infants are known, suggesting that twins may be reared successfully under certain circumstances.[7] Often it is the father who cares for the young, carrying it and bringing it to the mother only for nursing. Fathers tend to engage in more grooming, food-sharing, inspecting, aggression and playing with infants than mothers.[8] The young are weaned after 5 months and are fully grown after two years. After three or more years, they leave their family group in order to find a mate. While the life expectancy of most species is unclear, the members of the genus Cheracebus may live for up to 12 years in the wild,[9] while members of the P. moloch group have been known to live for more than 25 years in captivity.[4]


The number of known species of titis has doubled in recent years, with eight, P. stephennashi, P. bernhardi, P. caquetensis, P. aureipalatii, P. miltoni, P. urubambensis, P. grovesi, and P. parecis being described from the Amazon basin since 2000. Furthermore, the most recent review uses the phylogenetic species concept (thereby not recognizing the concept of subspecies) rather than the 'traditional' biological species concept.[5] The classification presented here is therefore very different from the classifications used twenty years ago. The naming rights to a recently discovered species were auctioned off (with the funds going to a nonprofit organization), and the winner was the online casino GoldenPalace.com, as reflected in both the common and scientific name of P. aureipalatii.[10] While this typically is a highly unusual event in scientific classification, the possibility of naming a species of titi in exchange for a sizable donation to a nonprofit foundation was also presented a few years before, resulting in P. bernhardi being named after Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands.[11]

A pair of white-eared titis (P. donacophilus) entwining tails.

Historically, titis were monogeneric and formed the genus Callicebus Thomas, 1903. Owing to the great diversity found across titi monkey species, a new genus-level taxonomy was recently proposed that recognises three genera within the subfamily Callicebinae; Cheracebus Byrne et al. (2016) for the species of the torquatus group (Widow titis); Callicebus Thomas, 1903, for species of the Atlantic Forest personatus group; and Plecturocebus Byrne et al. (2016) for the Amazonian and Chaco titis of the moloch and donacophilus groups.[2]


  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 141–146. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b Byrne, Hazel; Rylands, Anthony B.; Carneiro, Jeferson C.; Alfaro, Jessica W. Lynch; Bertuol, Fabricio; da Silva, Maria N. F.; Messias, Mariluce; Groves, Colin P.; Mittermeier, Russell A. (2016-01-01). "Phylogenetic relationships of the New World titi monkeys (Callicebus): first appraisal of taxonomy based on molecular evidence". Frontiers in Zoology. 13: 10. doi:10.1186/s12983-016-0142-4. ISSN 1742-9994. PMC 4774130. PMID 26937245.
  3. ^ Silvestro, Daniele; Tejedor, Marcelo F.; Serrano Serrano, Martha L.; Loiseau, Oriane; Rossier, Victor; Rolland, Jonathan; Zizka, Alexander; Antonelli, Alexandre; Salamin, Nicolas (2017). "Evolutionary history of New World monkeys revealed by molecular and fossil data" (PDF). BioRxiv. _: 1–32. Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  4. ^ a b c d Nowak, R. M. (1999). Walker's Mammals of the World. 6th edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. ISBN 0-8018-5789-9
  5. ^ a b van Roosmalen, Marc G. M.; Roosmalen, Tomas van; Mittermeier, Russell A. (2002). "A taxonomic review of the titi monkeys, genus Callicebus Thomas, 1903, with the description of two new species, Callicebus bernhardi and Callicebus stephennashi, from Brazilian Amazonia" (PDF). Neotropical Primates. 10 (Suppl): 1–52. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2015-08-26.
  6. ^ Valeggia, C.R.; Mendoza, S.P.; Fernandez-Duque, E.; Mason, W.A.; Lasley, B. (1999). "Reproductive Biology of Female Titi Monkeys (Callicebus moloch) in captivity" (PDF). American Journal of Primatology. 47 (3): 183–195. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2345(1999)47:3<183::AID-AJP1>3.0.CO;2-J. PMID 10075433. S2CID 471338. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2010-07-17. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
  7. ^ Cäsar, and Young; Young, RJ (2008). "A case of adoption in a wild group of black-fronted titi monkeys (Callicebus nigrifrons)". Primates. 49 (2): 146–148. doi:10.1007/s10329-007-0066-x. PMID 17938856. S2CID 11927244.
  8. ^ Spence-Aizenberg, Andrea; Di Fiore, Anthony; Fernandez-Duque, Eduardo (January 2016). "Social monogamy, male–female relationships, and biparental care in wild titi monkeys (Callicebus discolor)". Primates. 57 (1): 103–112. doi:10.1007/s10329-015-0489-8. ISSN 0032-8332. PMID 26386712. S2CID 2457638.
  9. ^ Rowe, Noel (1996). The Pictorial Guide to Living Primates. Pogonias Press, Charlestown. ISBN 0-9648825-1-5
  10. ^ Wallace, R.B.; Gómez, H.; Felton, A.; Felton, A.M. (2006). "On a New Species of Titi Monkey, Genus Callicebus Thomas (Primates, Pitheciidae), from Western Bolivia with Preliminary Notes on Distribution and Abundance". Primate Conservation. 20: 29–39. doi:10.1896/0898-6207.20.1.29. S2CID 22884522.
  11. ^ Trials of a Primatologist. Archived 2009-10-14 at the Portuguese Web Archive Smithsonian magazine, February 2008. Accessed March 16, 2008.
  12. ^ a b Vermeer, J.; Tello-Alvarado, J. C. (2015). "The Distribution and Taxonomy of Titi Monkeys (Callicebus) in Central and Southern Peru, with the Description of a New Species". Primate Conservation. 29: 9–29. doi:10.1896/052.029.0102.
  13. ^ Dalponte, Julio César; Silva, Felipe Ennes; Silva Júnior, José de Sousa e. (2014). "New species of titi monkey, genus Callicebus Thomas, 1903 (Primates, Pitheciidae), from Southern Amazonia, Brazil". Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia. 54. doi:10.1590/0031-1049.2014.54.32.
  14. ^ "news.nationalgeographic.com 2015-03-15 New Titi Monkey Found: Fire-Tailed, With Sideburns". Archived from the original on 2015-04-27. Retrieved 2015-04-20.
  15. ^ Gualda-Barros, J.; Nascimento, F. O.; Amaral, M. K. (2012). "A new species of Callicebus Thomas, 1903 (Primates, Pitheciidae) from the states of Mato Grosso and Pará, Brazil" (PDF). Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia. 52 (23): 261–279. doi:10.1590/s0031-10492012002300001. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2012.