Black Lion Tamarin

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Primates Callitrichidae Leontopithecus Leontopithecus chrysopygus
Black Lion Tamarin
IUCN Status: Endangered
  • Common Name: Black Lion Tamarin
  • Taxonomy Classification Year: 1823
  • Monkey Size: 20 to 33.5 cm (7.87 to 13.19 in)
  • Skin Color(s): Black
  • Habitat: Forest, rainforest
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Native Countries: Brazil

Black Lion Tamarin Distribution

Black Lion Tamarin Characteristics

Black Lion Tamarin

The black lion tamarin[1], also called the golden-rumped lion tamarin, is a lion tamarin native to the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, almost exclusively in Morro do Diabo State Park.

  • Black lion tamarin is almost completely covered with dense, silky black hairs. There are only differences at the rear.
  • The buttocks, thighs, and underside of the tail are reddish brown. This gives the primate its common name, the golden-rumped lion tamarin.
  • The face of the species is hairless, as are the hands and feet, which are black to dark gray.
  • The black lion tamarin’s hind legs are generally longer than the front legs, and the tail is not prehensile.
  • All toes have a sharp, crescent-shaped nail used for grasping trees, except for the big toe with a flat nail.

What Do Black Lion Tamarins Eat?

The Black Lion Tamarin feeds on variety of food sources including[¶]:

  • Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)
  • Barbados Shrub (Pereskia aculeata)
  • Iguana Hackberry (Celtis iguanaea)
  • Shortleaf Fig (Ficus citrifolia)
  • Birds (Aves)
  • Répteis (Reptilia)

What Eats Black Lion Tamarins?

Cobra (Serpentes), Chouettes (Strigiformes), Falconiforms (Falconiformes) and Cats (Felidae) predate Black Lion Tamarins[§].

Black Lion Tamarin Facts

  • Its limited geographic range makes it the rarest of the New-World monkeys.
  • Within the Leontopithecus genus, the black lion tamarin is the largest. It has the lowest calls but uses more extended tones than other species.
  • They are typically found in groups of 4-9 and live in primary and secondary forests along the perimeter of their home range.
  • The black lion tamarin monkey’s seasonal diet varies depending on its travel habitats.
  • The species uses calls to defend its territory, attract a mate, maintain group cohesion, and make contact with members that may have been lost.

Suggested Reading: All Monkeys

Cite This Page

APA7MLA8Chicago (2023, June 05). Black Lion Tamarin. Bio Explorer. "Black Lion Tamarin" Bio Explorer, 05 June 2023, "Black Lion Tamarin" Bio Explorer, June 05 2023.
Key References
  • [1]“The black lion tamarin Leontopithecus chrysopygus – its conservation and management | Oryx | Cambridge Core”. Accessed August 08, 2022. Link.
  • [¶] fgabriel1891/Palm-Frugivore_Interactions_Neo-AfrotropicsZona, S. & Henderson, A. (1989) A review of animal mediated seed dispersal of palms. Selbyana, 11, 6-21. Online Update 2006 ((
  • [¶] fgabriel1891/Palm-Frugivore_Interactions_Neo-AfrotropicsKeuroghlian, Alexine; Eaton, Donald P.. 2009. Removal of palm fruits and ecosystem engineering in palm stands by white-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari) and other frugivores in an isolated Atlantic Forest fragment. Biodiversity and Conservation. 1733-1750
  • [¶] Bello, C., Galetti, M., Montan, D., Pizo, M. A., Mariguela, T. C., Culot, L., Bufalo, F., Labecca, F., Pedrosa, F., Constantini, R., Emer, C., Silva, W. R., da Silva, F. R., Ovaskainen, O. and Jordano, P. (2017), Atlantic frugivory: a plant-frugivore interaction data set for the Atlantic Forest. Ecology, 98: 1729. doi:10.1002/ecy.1818. doi:10.1002/ecy.1818


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