The Pitheciidae (/pɪθɪˈs.ɪd/) are one of the five families of New World monkeys now recognised. Formerly, they were included in the family Atelidae. The family includes the titis, saki monkeys and uakaris. Most species are native to the Amazon region of Brazil, with some being found from Colombia in the north to Bolivia in the south.

Temporal range: Miocene to Present
Pithecia pithecia.jpg
White-faced saki (Pithecia pithecia)
Callicebus nigrifrons Minas Gerais.jpg
Black-fronted titi (Callicebus nigrifrons)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Parvorder: Platyrrhini
Family: Pitheciidae
Mivart, 1865
Type genus
Desmarest, 1804
Genera (extant)


Pitheciids are small to medium-sized monkeys, ranging from 23 cm in head-body length for the smaller titis, to 44–49 cm for the uakaris. They have medium to long fur, in a wide range of colors, often with contrasting patches, especially on the face.

They are diurnal and arboreal animals, found in tropical forests from low-lying swamp to mountain slopes. They are predominantly herbivorous, eating mostly fruit and seeds, although some species will also eat a small number of insects. Sakis and uakaris have a diastema between the canine and premolar teeth, but the titis, which have unusually small canines for New World monkeys, do not.[2] All species have the dental formula:

Females give birth to a single young after a gestation period of between four and six months, depending on species. The uakaris and bearded sakis are polygamous, living in groups of 8-30 individuals. Each group has multiple males, which establish a dominance hierarchy amongst themselves. The titis and Pithecia sakis, by contrast, are monogamous and live in much smaller family groups.[2]


There are 54 currently recognized extant species of pitheciid monkey, grouped into two subfamilies and six genera.[1][3] Eleven extinct genera known from the fossil record are placed in the family, extending the age of the family to the Miocene.[4][5]

*Newly described species.[3]Extinct taxa.

Silvestro etal 2017 showed the relationship among the extinct and extant pitheciid genera:[5]

stem Pitheciidae
stem Callicebinae








stem Pitheciinae














  1. ^ a b 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. 141–148. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b Macdonald, D., ed. (1984). The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 358–361. ISBN 0-87196-871-1.
  3. ^ a b c d Boubli, J. P.; M. N. F. Da Silva; M. V. Amado; T. Hrbek; F. B. Pontual; I. P. Farias (2008). "A Taxonomic Reassessment of Cacajao melanocephalus Humboldt (1811), with the Description of Two New Species". International Journal of Primatology. 29 (3): 723–741. doi:10.1007/s10764-008-9248-7. S2CID 26561719.
  4. ^ The Paleobiology Database Pitheciidae entry accessed on 6 April 2010
  5. ^ a b Silvestro, Daniele; Tejedor, Marcelo F.; Serrano Serrano, Martha L.; Loiseau, Oriane; Rossier, Victor; Rolland, Jonathan; Zizka, Alexander; Antonelli, Alexandre; Salamin, Nicolas (2017). "Evolutionary history of New World monkeys revealed by molecular and fossil data". bioRxiv 10.1101/178111.
  6. ^ a b c Serrano-Villavicencio, J.E.; Murtado, C.M.; Vendramel, R.L.; Oliveira do Nascimento, F. (January 2019). "Reconsidering the taxonomy of the Pithecia irrorata species group (Primates: Pitheciidae)". Journal of Mammalogy. 100 (1): 130–141. doi:10.1093/jmammal/gyy167.

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