White-headed marmoset

The white-headed marmoset (Callithrix geoffroyi), also known as the tufted-ear marmoset or Geoffroy’s marmoset, is a small primate species native to Brazil. Here’s a description of the white-headed marmoset and its distribution:

Description of the White-headed Marmoset:

  • Appearance: White-headed marmosets have a distinctive appearance characterized by their small size, long tails, and tufted ears. They have a predominantly black or dark brown fur coat with a contrasting white or pale gray head, giving them their name. Their faces are typically dark, with white markings around the eyes and mouth. They have sharp claws and specialized teeth adapted for feeding on tree sap, insects, fruits, and small vertebrates.
  • Size: Adult white-headed marmosets typically measure around 17 to 28 centimeters (6.7 to 11 inches) in length, excluding the tail, which can be up to twice the length of the body.
  • Behavior: White-headed marmosets are highly social animals that live in family groups consisting of a dominant breeding pair and their offspring. They communicate through vocalizations, facial expressions, and scent marking. They are agile climbers and spend much of their time foraging for food in the forest canopy.
  • Habitat: White-headed marmosets inhabit a range of forest habitats, including tropical rainforests, gallery forests, and semi-deciduous forests. They are particularly common in areas with dense vegetation and access to water sources, such as rivers and streams. They are arboreal animals, meaning they spend most of their time in the trees, where they forage for food and seek shelter from predators.
  • Reproduction: Breeding in white-headed marmosets typically occurs year-round, with females giving birth to twins or occasionally triplets after a gestation period of around 4 to 5 months. Both parents participate in caring for and carrying the young, which are weaned at around 2 to 3 months of age.
  • Conservation Status: The white-headed marmoset is currently classified as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). While they face some threats, including habitat loss and fragmentation, they are relatively widespread and adaptable to human-modified landscapes.


  • White-headed marmosets are native to southeastern Brazil and are found in the Atlantic Forest biome, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.
  • Within Brazil, white-headed marmosets are distributed across several states, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, and Bahia.
  • They inhabit a range of habitats within the Atlantic Forest, from lowland rainforests to montane forests, but are most commonly encountered in areas with dense vegetation and access to water sources.
  • While they have a relatively restricted distribution compared to some other marmoset species, white-headed marmosets are still relatively common in suitable habitats and can be found in protected areas such as national parks, reserves, and private nature reserves. Efforts to conserve their habitat and mitigate threats such as deforestation are essential for ensuring the long-term survival of this species.

White-headed marmoset in Zoos

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