Midas Tamarin (Saguinus midas)

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).
Midas Tamarin

Midas Tamarin ECOLOGY:
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).

The midas tamarin has a multimale-multifemale social system (Kinzey, 1997). The groups consist of unrelated adults, and the main mating system is polyandry, with monogamy and polygyny being reported (Kinzey, 1997). The offspring are cared for by all adult group members, which includes the males (Kinzey, 1997).


circumanal marking: This is when a midas tamarin rubs the substrate with the circumanal areas in a sitting position; this is the most frequent marking behavior for this species (Epple et al., 1993).



The midas tamarin gives birth to twins like most callitrichids (Kinzey, 1997).

Epple, G., Belcher, A.M., Kuderling, I., Zeller, U., Scolnick, L., Greenfield, K.L., Smith III, A.B. 1993. Making Sense Out of Scents: Species Differences in Scent Glands, Scent-marking Behaviour, and Scent-mark Composition in the Callitrichdae. in Marmosets and Tamarins: Systematics, Behaviour, and Ecology. ed. Anthony B. Rylands, Oxford University Press.

Fleagle, J. G. 1988. Primate Adaptation and Evolution. Academic Press.

Garber, P.A. 1993. Feeding, Ecology, and Behaviour of the Genus Saguinus. in Marmosets and Tamarins: Systematics, Behaviour, and Ecology. ed Anthony B. Rylands. Oxford University Press.

Kinzey, W.G. 1997. Saguinus. in New World Primates: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. ed. Warren G. Kinzey, Aldine de Gruyter, New York.

Snowdon, C.T. and Soini, P. 1988. The Tamarins, Genus Saguinus. in Ecology and Behavior of Neotropical Primates, Vol. 2 PP. 223-298. Eds, R.A. Mittermeier, A.B. Rylands, A.F. Coimbra-Filho, and G.A.B. da Fonseca. Washington, DC: World Wildlife Fund.

Last Updated: May 27, 2007.
[The Primata] [Primate Evolution] [Primate Taxonomy] [Primate Conservation] [Primate Fact Sheets] [Primate Definitions] [Primate Store] [Saguinus Links]