Weddell's Saddle-Back Tamarin

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Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Primates Callitrichidae Leontocebus Leontocebus weddelli
IUCN Status: Least-Concern
  • Common Name: Weddell’s Saddle-back Tamarin
  • Taxonomy Classification Year: 1849
  • Monkey Size: 19 to 19.6 cm (7.48 to 7.74 in)
  • Skin Color(s): Black
  • Habitat: Rainforest
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Native Countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru

Weddell’s Saddle-back Tamarin Distribution

Weddell’s Saddle-back Tamarin Characteristics

The Weddell’s saddle-back tamarin[1] (Leontocebus weddelli) is a species of saddle-back tamarin, a species of small South American monkey.

  • The Weddell’s saddle-back tamarin was once thought to be a subspecies of the brown-mantled tamarin, Leontocebus fuscicollis.
  • It lives in Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil and is the type of locality in Bolivia. The Weddell’s saddle-back tamarin has 3 subspecies, with L. w. weddelli considered the nominated subspecies.
  • The white saddle-back tamarin (L. w. melanoleucus) and crandall’s saddle-back tamarin (L. w. crandalli) are genetically similar. However, they look pretty different when it comes to their fur.
  • All three subspecies of Weddell’s saddle-back tamarins have distinct coats, with crandall’s saddle-back tamarins L. w. crandalli) and white saddle-back tamarins (L. w. melanoleucus) being more similar to each other than Weddell’s saddle-back tamarin.
  • The Weddell’s saddle-back tamarin sports dark fur. Their forehead is entirely black, and their hind legs are brown.
  • The light-skinned mounts on their backs look like chunks of elegant gray marble. The fur covering its claws and running down its tail is also black.
  • Their faces are covered with crescents of white fur curling around the mouth, nose, and eyes, descending to the eyebrows, forming a mask.
  • In contrast, the white saddle-back tamarin (L. w. melanoleucus) and Crandall’s saddle-back tamarin (L. w. crandalli) have much lighter fur.
  • The former has a straightforward pattern: all-white fur, black ear tips, and no distinctive border. Crandall’s saddle tamarins (L. w. crandalli) also have black-tipped ears and black fur around their eyes. Still, their upper body is white only in front, darkening slightly closer to the tail.
  • The fur on the hind legs is light brown with black stripes. Their tails are glossy black. Members of this subspecies sport saddles, but their pattern is slightly less mottled than that of the nominate subspecies.
  • The fur around its four claws is the same beige color as its hind legs.

Weddell’s Saddle-Back Tamarin Facts

  • Weddell’s saddle-back tamarins are tree dwellers. As such, they are phenomenal climbers with sharp claws that allow them to cling to the sides of trees.
  • They are known to travel to the ground frequently to search for insects and other small animals on dead foliage.
  • Groups of Weddell’s saddle-back tamarins can take on several structures. Some consist of multiple males and females, while others may have multiple females but only one male.
  • Although their groups function according to an established hierarchy, this species is known to be exceptionally egalitarian. They willingly share their food with their mates and keep their relationships peaceful without constant aggressive signals.
  • Similar to their group dynamic, Weddell’s saddle-back tamarins do not have a consistent mating system. While most groups are monogamous or polyandrous, polygamy and polygynandry have also been observed.

Suggested Reading: Biggest Monkey Species

Cite This Page

APA7MLA8Chicago (2023, June 01). Weddell’s Saddle-Back Tamarin. Bio Explorer. "Weddell’s Saddle-Back Tamarin" Bio Explorer, 01 June 2023, "Weddell’s Saddle-Back Tamarin" Bio Explorer, June 01 2023.
Key References
  • [1]“Weddell’s Saddle-Back Tamarin”. Accessed December 21, 2022. Link.


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