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Titis Sakis and Uakaris: Pitheciidae

Masked Titi (callicebus Personatus): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: The masked titi weighs 0.9 to 3.6 pounds (1 to 1.7 kilograms). It measures 12.2 to 16.5 inches (31 to 42 centimeters), with a tail length of 16.5 to 21.7 inches (41.8 to 55 centimeters). The long, soft, hairy coat is grayish to yellowish or orange. The face, hands, and feet are black. The non-prehensile tail is long and bushy.

Geographic range: Masked titis are found in Brazil.

Masked titis mate for life, and the father provides most of the child care for infants as well as for older offspring. (Illustration by Marguette Dongvillo. Reproduced by permission.)

Habitat: Masked titis prefer coastal forests. They are found in dense understory vegetation up to 33 feet (10 meters) high. They also inhabit banana groves.

Diet: Masked titis feed on unripe fruits, leaves, flowers, and insects.

Behavior and reproduction: Masked titis are active during the day. At dawn, neighboring groups emit loud calls, usually initiated by the mated pair, announcing ownership of a certain territory. Titis defend their territory, chasing away intruders. They move through the forest canopy on all fours. They intertwine their tails when sleeping, resting, or sitting on tree branches.

Titis mate for life, producing a single infant annually. The family group consists of two to seven individuals, typically the parents and offspring of different ages. The father almost exclusively rears the infant, carrying it on his back and giving it to the mother just to nurse. The father is known to move the infant to his underside to protect it from the rain. He also rears the older offspring, grooming them, guarding them from predators, and sharing his food with them. The mother does not share her food with the young. The young leave their home at ages two to three.

Masked titis and people: Masked titis are hunted for food and collected as pets.

Conservation status: The IUCN lists the masked titi as Vulnerable due to hunting and trapping by humans, as well as habitat loss and degradation from logging. ∎



Kavanagh, Michael. A Complete Guide to Monkeys, Apes and Other Primates. New York: The Viking Press, 1983.

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

Napier, John R., and Prue H. Napier. The Natural History of the Primates. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1986.

Nowak, Ronald M. Walker's Primates of the World. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

Preston-Mafham, Rod, and Ken Preston-Mafham. Primates of the World. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1992.


Jones, Clyde, and Sydney Anderson. "Callicebus moloch." Mammalian Species 112 (December 29, 1978): 1–5.

Web sites:

Heilhecker, Ellen, and Chris Yahnke. "Callicebus personatus (Masked Titi)." Animal Diversity Web. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Callicebus_personatus.html (accessed July 6, 2004).

"What's Out There in the Primate World?" Investigate Biodiversity. http://investigate.conservation.org/xp/IB/speciesdiversity/ (accessed July 6, 2004).

"White-faced Saki." Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. http://www.comozooconservatory.org/zoo/saki.htm (accessed July 6, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsTitis Sakis and Uakaris: Pitheciidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Pitheciids And People, Conservation Status, White-faced Saki (pithecia Pithecia):species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET