Species differences in response to conspecific intruders in Callithrix jacchus and Saguinus oedipus

Mary L. Harrison, Suzette D. Tardif

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19 Scopus citations


In this study, the first performed on two species of callitrichid primates under identical conditions, the responses elicited in newly mated individuals by conspecific intruders were compared in four pairs of Callithrix jacchus and four pairs of Saguinus oedipus. Intruders were systematically varied in terms of sex and the social context in which they were met. Clear sexual dimorphism was observed in the behavior of Saguinus oedipus, but the behavior of males and females was less dimorphic in Callithrix jacchus. Males and females of both species showed an increase in agonistic and display behavior in the presence of same-sex intruders, but the mode of behavior varied both with sex and species. Social facilitation, as indicated by increased frequencies of agonistic and display responses in the presence of a mate, was observed only in males of both species. Neither C. jacchus nor S. oedipus displayed clear evidence of a monogamous mating system like that of Callicebus or of a polygynous mating system like that of Saimiri. Observed differences in the responses to conspecifics between these two species in the laboratory may be explained by facultative differences in mating systems resulting from differences in ranging and foraging behavior under freeranging conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-362
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Primatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 1989


  • aggression
  • marmosets
  • mating systems
  • tamarins
  • territoriality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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