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This article is about New World monkeys of the genus Callicebus. For other meanings of the word 'Titi', see Titi (disambiguation).
Brown Titi Monkey (Callicebus brunneus) (3419492981).jpg
Brown titi (C. brunneus)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorrhini
Family: Pitheciidae
Subfamily: Callicebinae
Pocock, 1925
Genus: Callicebus
Thomas, 1903
Type species
Simia personatus
É. Geoffroy, 1812

30 species, see text

The titis, or titi monkeys, are the New World monkeys of the genus Callicebus. They are the only extant members of the subfamily Callicebinae, which also contains the extinct genera Xenothrix, Antillothrix, Paralouatta, Carlocebus, Lagonimico, and possibly also Tremacebus.

Titis live in South America, from Colombia to Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and north Paraguay.

Depending on species, titis have a head and body length of 23–46 centimetres (9.1–18.1 in), and a tail, which is longer than the head and body, of 26–56 centimetres (10–22 in).[2] The different titi species vary substantially in coloring, but resemble each other in most other physical ways. They have long, soft fur, and it is usually reddish, brownish, grayish or blackish, and in most species the underside is lighter or more rufescent than the upperside. Some species have contrasting blackish or whitish foreheads, while all members of the subgenus Torquatus have a white half-collar.[3] The tail is always furry and is not prehensile.

Diurnal and arboreal, titis predominantly prefer dense forests near water. They easily jump from branch to branch, earning them their German name, Springaffen (jumping monkeys). They sleep at night, but also take a midday nap.

Titis are territorial. They live in family groups that consist of parents and their offspring, about two to seven animals in total. They defend their territory by shouting and chasing off intruders, but rarely engage in actual fighting.[2] Their grooming and communication is important for the co-operation of the group. They can typically be seen in pairs sitting or sleeping with tails entwined.

The diet of the titis consists mainly of fruits, although they also eat leaves, flowers, insects, bird eggs and small vertebrates.[2]

Titis are monogamous, mating for life. The female bears a single young after about a five-month gestation. Twins occur rarely, having been documented in only 1.4% of all births in captive groups of C. moloch.[4] While the second infant usually does not survive, cases where neighbouring groups have adopted infants are known, suggesting that twins may be reared successfully under certain circumstances.[5] Often it is the father who cares for the young, carrying it and bringing it to the mother only for nursing. The young are weaned after 5 months and are fully grown after two years. After three or more years, they leave their family group in order to find a mate. While the life expectancy of most species is unclear, the members of the subgenus Torquatus may live for up to 12 years in the wild,[6] while members of the C. moloch group have been known to live for more than 25 years in captivity.[2]


The number of known species of titis has doubled in recent years, with four, C. stephennashi, C. bernhardi, C. caquetensis, and C. aureipalatii, being described from the Amazon basin since 2000. Furthermore, the most recent review uses the phylogenetic species concept (thereby not recognizing the concept of subspecies) rather than the 'traditional' biological species concept.[3] The classification presented here is therefore very different from the classifications used twenty years ago. The naming rights to a recently discovered species, based on appearance part of the C. cupreus group, were auctioned off (with the funds going to a nonprofit organization), and the winner was the online casino GoldenPalace.com, as reflected in both the common and scientific name of C. aureipalatii.[7] While this typically is a highly unusual event in scientific classification, the possibility of naming a species of titi in exchange for a sizable donation to a nonprofit foundation was also presented a few years before, resulting in C. bernhardi being named after Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands.[8]

A pair of white-eared titis (C. donacophilus) entwining tails.


  1. ^ Groves, C.P. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M., eds. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 141–146. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  2. ^ a b c d Nowak, R. M. (1999). Walker's Mammals of the World. 6th edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. ISBN 0-8018-5789-9
  3. ^ a b Roosmalen, Roosmalen, and Mittermeier (2002). "A taxonomic review of the titi monkeys, genus Callicebus Thomas, 1903, with the description of two new species, Callicebus bernhardi and Callicebus stephennashi, from Brazilian Amazonia" (PDF). Neotropical Primates 10 (Suppl.): 1–52. 
  4. ^ Valeggia, Mendoza, Fernandez-Duque, Mason, and Lasley (1999). "Reproductive Biology of Female Titi Monkeys (Callicebus moloch) in captivity" (PDF). American Journal of Primatology 47 (3): 183–195. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2345(1999)47:3<183::AID-AJP1>3.0.CO;2-J. PMID 10075433. 
  5. ^ Cäsar, and Young; Young, RJ (2008). "A case of adoption in a wild group of black-fronted titi monkeys (Callicebus nigrifrons)". Primates 49 (2): 146–148. doi:10.1007/s10329-007-0066-x. PMID 17938856. 
  6. ^ Rowe, Noel (1996). The Pictorial Guide to Living Primates. Pogonias Press, Charlestown. ISBN 0-9648825-1-5
  7. ^ Wallace, Gómez, Felton, and Felton (2006). "On a New Species of Titi Monkey, Genus Callicebus Thomas (Primates, Pitheciidae), from Western Bolivia with Preliminary Notes on Distribution and Abundance". Primate Concervation 20: 29–39. doi:10.1896/0898-6207.20.1.29. 
  8. ^ Trials of a Primatologist. Smithsonian magazine, February 2008. Accessed March 16, 2008.
  9. ^ "New species of titi monkey, genus Callicebus Thomas, 1903 (Primates, Pitheciidae), from Southern Amazonia, Brazil". Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia 54. 2014. doi:10.1590/0031-1049.2014.54.32. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ news.nationalgeographic.com 2015-03-15 New Titi Monkey Found: Fire-Tailed, With Sideburns
  11. ^ Vermeer, J.; Tello-Alvarado, J. C. (2015). "The Distribution and Taxonomy of Titi Monkeys (Callicebus) in Central and Southern Peru, with the Description of a New Species" (PDF). Primate Conservation 29. Retrieved 2015-10-14. 
  12. ^ Gualda-Barros, J.; Nascimento, F. O.; Amaral, M. K. (2012). "A new species of Callicebus Thomas, 1903 (Primates, Pitheciidae) from the states of Mato Grosso and Pará, Brazil" (PDF). Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia 52 (23): 261–279. doi:10.1590/s0031-10492012002300001. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 

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