Black-fronted titi monkey (Callicebus nigrifrons)

Black-fronted titi monkey with juvenile
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Black-fronted titi monkey fact file

Black-fronted titi monkey description

GenusCallicebus (1)

The black-fronted titi monkey (Callicebus nigrifrons) is a small New World monkey with a black face, forehead and ears (5). The black fur fades into long, soft, orange-brown or brown fur on the rest of the head and on the back (2) (5). The throat and chest of the black-fronted titi monkey are pale brown, and the hands and feet are black (5).

The tail of the black-fronted titi monkey is orange or rusty-brown (5), and is as long as the body (2). Unlike in many other monkeys, the tail is not prehensile (2) (6).

Callicebus personatus nigrifrons.
Head-body length: 40 - 50 cm (2)
Maximum weight: 1.5 kg (3)

Black-fronted titi monkey biology

Not much is known about the biology of the black-fronted titi monkey, but inferences can be made from what is known about other closely related titi monkeys. Titi monkeys typically live in small family groups, comprising a monogamous adult pair with their offspring (6) (7). The adult female gives birth to a single offspring between August and October (8), after a gestation period of five to six months (9). Juvenile titi monkeys reach adult size within ten months (7).

The black-fronted titi monkey is active during the day and spends most, if not all, of its time in the tree canopy (7). It moves along horizontal branches using all four limbs, as well as leaping between trees (10).

The black-fronted titi monkey feeds primarily on fruit, but will also eat small amounts of leaves, flowers and seeds (11). While foraging, the family group communicates using both visual and vocal signals as the male leads the group to suitable feeding areas (7).

Titi monkeys are territorial and guard their territories through vocalisations and through chasing away any unwanted intruders (7). At night, titi monkeys rest in a specially selected sleeping tree in order to gain protection from predators (7).


Black-fronted titi monkey range

The black-fronted titi monkey is found only in south-eastern Brazil, in the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro (1).


Black-fronted titi monkey habitat

An inhabitant of the Atlantic forest, the black-fronted titi monkey favours the lower levels of the canopy. It occurs in both mature and fragmented parts of the rainforest (1).


Black-fronted titi monkey status

The black-fronted titi monkey is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List (1) and listed on Appendix II of CITES (4).

IUCN Red List species status – Near Threatened


Black-fronted titi monkey threats

As an inhabitant of one of the most developed and populous regions of Brazil, the black-fronted titi monkey is, unsurprisingly, threatened by habitat loss (1).

Expanding agriculture, urbanization and logging practices have fragmented the black-fronted titi monkey’s forest habitat, resulting in its extinction from some areas and leaving the remaining individuals restricted to small, isolated populations (1) (5).


Black-fronted titi monkey conservation

Populations of the black-fronted titi monkey reside in a number of protected areas, including the Serra do Mar reserve complex, the Área de Proteção Ambiental and, remarkably, in the Cantareira State Park situated in the centre of São Paulo city (1).

The black-fronted titi monkey is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), meaning that international trade in this monkey should be carefully controlled (4).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

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This species information was authored as part of the Arkive and Universities Scheme.


Atlantic forest
A highly biodiverse region found along the east coast of South America, comprising several different vegetation types, including high-altitude grassland, and lowland and montane forest.
The state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth.
Having only one mate during a breeding season, or throughout the breeding life of a pair.
Capable of grasping.
Describes an animal, a pair of animals or a colony that occupies and defends an area.
An area occupied and defended by an animal, a pair of animals or a colony.


  1. IUCN Red List (May, 2011)
  2. Callicebus Database Project (May, 2011)
  3. Hershkovitz, P. (1990) Titis, New World monkeys of the genus Callicebus (Cebidae, Platyrrhini): a preliminary taxonomic review. Fieldiana Zoology, 55: 105-109.
  4. CITES (May, 2011)
  5. Van Roosmalen, M.G.M., Van Roosmalen, T. and Mittermeier, R.A. (2002) A taxonomic review of titi monkeys, genus Callicebus Thomas, 1903, with description of two new species, Callicebus bernhardi and Callicebus stephennash, from Brazilian Amazonia. Neotropical Primates, 10: 1-52.
  6. Vaughan, T.A., Ryan, J.M. and Czaplewski, N.J. (2011) Mammalology. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Massachusetts.
  7. Nowak, R.M. (1999) Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
  8. Kinzey, W.G. (1981) The titi monkeys, genus Callicebus. In: Coimbra-Filho, A.F. and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.) Ecology and Behavior of Neotropical Primates. Volume 1. Academia Brasileira de Ciencias, Rio de Janeiro.
  9. Macdonald, D.W. (2009) The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  10. Fleagle, J.G. (1988) Primate Adaptation and Evolution. Academic Press, New York.
  11. Santos, G.P., Morais, C.M.F. and Young, R.J. (2008) Diet and Behavioural Activity Patterns of Wild Callicebus nigrifrons. International Primatological Society Congress, Abstracts and Programme, Edinburgh.

Image credit

Black-fronted titi monkey with juvenile  
Black-fronted titi monkey with juvenile

© Robert Lewis

Bob Lewis


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