The midas tamarin has nonopposable thumbs and the nails of the digits are claw-like except for the first digit on each toe. Unlike the marmosets, this species, like all tamarins, has canines that are larger than the incisors, and their teeth morphology does not allow them to gnaw into the bark for gum (exudates) like the marmosets (Fleagle, 1988). The coloration of the body hair is black, except for the middle and lower back that is spectacled with orange and reddish hairs.
The midas tamarin is found in the countries of Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname. This species prefers areas with a high edge to non-edge forest ratio (Garber, 1993).
The midas forages for a number of food items including: insects, ripe fruits, gum (exudates), and nectar (Kinzey, 1997). They can only forage upon exudates (gum) that is already coming out of the tree by other means (Kinzey, 1997). The average group size for this species is 6 individuals (Fleagle, 1988). This is an arboreal species.
This diurnal species walks or runs quadrupedally through the forest, and is capable of leaping between branches (Snowdon and Soini, 1988).