Primate Care Sheets - Marmosets

Marmosets (Callithrix/Cebuella) are small monkeys that live in trees.  Marmosets have a very distinctive smell, they actually use their scent glands to communicate.  This makes it possible to identify themselves to each other.  They have been kept by people as pets for several years but (unfortunately) a lot of  the common marmosets are also used for medical research. On this site you will find all the information you need to know about keeping marmosets as pets.

common marmoset
Common Marmoset
(c) Johan Mommens
Pygmy Marmoset
Pygmy Marmoset
(c) Ivan Crab
Geoffrey Marmoset
Geoffroy’s Marmoset
(c) Ivan Crab
Silvery Marmoset
Silvery Marmoset
(c) Ivan Crab


Marmoset Care Sheets

General Information




Hand Rearing




Marmoset Species:

Bare-eared marmoset (Callithrix argentata)
Black-pencilled marmoset (Callithrix pencillata)
Black-tailed marmoset (Callithrix argentata)
Buffy-headed marmoset (Callithrix flaviceps)
Buffy-tufted-ear marmoset (Callithrix aurita)
Common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus)
Goeldi’s marmoset (Callimico goeldii)
Pygmy marmoset (Cebuella pygmaea)
Rio Maues marmoset (Callithrix mauesi)
Santarem marmoset (Callithrix humeralifer)
Silvery marmoset (Callithrix argentata)
White-fronted marmoset (Callithrix geoffroyi)
Wied’s black tufted-earr marmoset (Callithrix kuhli)

The kiss of death

November 14, 2012 2:29 pm

These are snippets out of the diary of Louie, our marmoset, with the hopes that it one day saves the life of another marmoset or tamarin.

It was September 2009 and we finally went to the long awaited exotic animal auction located in Macon Missouri. 4 times a year Lollibros organizes an exotic animal auction where you can find all kinds of exotic animals for sale, including primates.

After waiting for 6 hours, we were finally able to bid on a male common marmoset monkey.  While the bidding process was a bit stressful, we eventually bought Louie below market value which was of course the reason we decided to buy at an auction instead of a breeder.  There are risks associated with buying at an exotic animal auctions but it was one I was willing to take.  On our way home Louie had a blast running around in circles exploring his new environment.


Posted in marmoset, tamarin

Arabic Gum

December 30, 2011 6:13 am

Marmosets and Bushbabies are known to be gum feeders. With their sharp teeth they gnaw holes in trees to get the gum. In the wild they spend 1/3 of their time doing this.  Besides the fact that “it will keep them busy for a while”, it’s also a source of energy, calcium and other minerals. It is more...

Posted in bush baby, enrichment, feeding, marmoset

Environmental Enrichment in Captive Marmosets and Tamarins

December 29, 2011 11:37 pm

By Dr. Hannah Buchanan-Smith

The author discusses the three main criteria which constitute a good captive environment.  They are: good physical health, breeding success, and an animal’s ability to acquire and retain behavioral skills needed to cope successfully with his or her natural environment. Through her field studies, the author has learned that a variety in diet, innovative foraging devices, indoor/outdoor enclosures, natural settings, and a comfortable social environment are vital for the well-being of captive primates. She illustrates how altering conditions can promote natural behaviors in captive marmosets and tamarins. more...

Posted in enrichment, marmoset, tamarin

The feeding of Primates

December 29, 2011 8:34 pm

By Ivan Crab

During recent years, the feeding of PRIMATES has undergone significant changes, as more has been discovered about their nutritional needs.   The pets market of today provide different “monkey pellets” , pelleted diets they are usually well balanced but they can not by given at the expense of a varied diet.

It is no coincidence that when breeding began in earnest during the 1950s, it was the OLD WORLD species which reproduced most successfully in collections. This is because MONKEYS such as the MACACA species were best-suited to thrive and breed on a diet composed of little more than vegetables and fruits.

The needs of other species are more complex. Certainly in captivity they thrive when offered a diet which contains a relatively high proportion of vegetables and fruit. more...

Posted in baboon, bush baby, capuchin, feeding, gibbon, lemur, macaque, marmoset, owl monkeys, squirrel monkeys, tamarin

Marmosets and Squirrel Monkeys don’t mix!

October 12, 2011 6:24 pm

It is known among big breeders and it’s time that you know it too.  Marmosets, Tamarins or Owl monkeys cannot be put together with squirrel monkeys.

Squirrel monkeys are the carrier of the herpes saimiri virus, which is deadly for marmosets, tamarins and owl monkeys.  Once they are infected, death can occur within 24 hours.  A squirrel monkey who carries herpes saimiri, doesn’t show any symptoms and unfortunately testing for this virus are not conclusive.

A big breeder told me once that he lost a whole colony of marmosets within a few days caused by this virus although his squirrels and marmosets were housed far from each other.

The problem is that you cannot see the virus.  It can be spread by handling the food, dishes or toys touched by a squirrel monkey.  Just walking from one cage to the other can cause the infection already. more...

Posted in marmoset, owl monkeys, squirrel monkeys, tamarin

« Page 1, 2»