Literature medemi

Hershkovitz, 1963

Callicebus torquatus medemi (new subspecies)

Type locality: Rio Mecaya, near mouth at right bank of the Rio Caqueta, Department of Putumayo, eastern Colombia. Altitude appr. 180 asl. Type in Chicago Natural History Museum.

Distribution: The Amazonian region of Colombia between Rios Caqueta and Putumayo in the departments of Putumayo and southern Caqueta. Lower down between the same rivers, medemi must grade into ignitus (Thomas) of the Rio Tocantins, Amazonas, Brazil. Altitudinal range between 100 and 450 meters asl.

Description: Trunk dominantly brown, under parts hardly or not at all defined from upper parts; hand feet and tail to tip, black; white to buffy or orange throat patch or ruff almost always present and well defined from chest; forearms black above and below; upper surface of hands entirely black.

Type: Back dark brown, the hairs with a narrow rufous subterminal band, hairs of sides less ticked, of under parts uniformly dark brown; upper arms, thighs and base of tail like adjacent surfaces of trunk; forearms, legs and hind feet blackish, hand blackish but with admixture of golden hairs on digits, forehead, sides of head blackish, crown and nape like back but hairs more uniformly coloured; tail blackish but with concealed basal portions of hairs reddish brown; creamy gular patch extending to just below ear with some white hairs tipped dark brown.

Remarks: Specimens from three widely scattered localities attest to the constancy of black handedness in medemi. In general colouration, the darkest individual of the Mecaya series agrees with average specimens of lugens, the reddest resembles reddish brown dark-bellied torquatus from the Marañon and Solimoes. The gular patch is absent in an adult from the Rio Mecaya and in one juvenil of the same series, the back and crown are mixed blackish and mahogany.

Specimens examined: Total 11. Colombia – Putumayo: Rio Mecaya, Rio Caqueta; Umbria, Rio Putumayo. Caqueta: Tres Troncos, Rio Caqueta.

Variation within the species: The northernmost race, Callicebus torquatus lugens (Humboldt) is darkest, with body or trunk deep blackish brown, throat patch or gular ruff well developed and sharply defined white or creamy. The westernmost race, medemi, is less black, browner, with gular ruff extending from ear to ear in some specimens to obsolete or absent in others, face more thinly haired, hands entirely black in some, with a more or less concealed admixture of golden hairs in others. Southward, between the Rios Putumayo and Caqueta, medemi grades into reddish, or reddish brown populations of torquatus. Here the yellow becomes dominant on the fingers (cf. ignitus Thomas) before extending over the metacarpals. In some populations (Codajáz, c.f. Lönnberg 1939) the throat patch tends to blend or become confused wit the surrounding reddish of the under surface.
Individuals or populations of torquatus from the north bank of the Solimoes with uniformly reddish trunks such as the type of ignitus Thomas from the Rio Tonantins, mingle with somberly coloured ones with dark under parts such as those Thomas (1927) described and recorded as lucifer. Similarly, on the south side of the Solimoes, brightly coloured individuals of torquatus with reddish belly and thighs (purinus, Thomas) seem to be randomly distributed with brownish ones with dark bellies (regulus, Thomas). Lönnberg (1939) noted that a series of reddish torquatus from Jaburú, middle Rio Purus, south of the Solimoes, was hardly distinguishable from another from Codajáz, north of the Solimoes. He nevertheless kept them apart by recording each series under the names purinus and torquatus, respectively. Two reddish brown dark bellied specimens at hand from the Rio Nanay, Peru, on the north side of the Marañon, agree with the original description of the brownish dark-bellied regulus Thomas from south of the Solimoes.
Apparent absence of features for consistently distinguishing the populations of one side of the Solimoes from those of the other is remarkable. Cabrera (1958) rejected colour as a subspecific character but nevertheless recognized a northern Amazonian race (lucifer) and a southern race (amictus).
The possibility that Callicebus torquatus torquatus is dichromatic in some parts of its range is suggested in the above discussion. The only evidence, however, is the reference by Thomas (1927) of the occurrence of reddish (ignitus, type an immature) and blackish form (lucifer) representatives of torquatus in the same locality on the Rio Tonantins and the somewhat obscure note by Cruz Lima (1945) that a male and female from Fonteboa, type locality of regulus, represent the reddish and dark phase, respectively. Nothing is known of seasonal and age variation in colour and pelage and no differences are apparent between the sexes. Nevertheless, whether considered individually or collectively, all populations of subspecies torquatus, as recognized here, can be distinguished from medemi and lugens by their more reddish colour and by their contrastingly whitish or yellow hands or fingers, respectively.


Hernandez-Camacho and Cooper, 1976

Callicebus torquatus medemi

Distribution: C. t. medemi, most remarkable for its black hands, is known only from two localities in the vicinity of Puerto Leguizamo in the upper Putumayo basin. It occupies the area between the upper Caqueta and Putumayo rivers.

Hernandez-Camacho, J. and Cooper, R.W. (1976). The nonhuman primates of Colombia.  Neotropical Primates: Field Studies and Conservation. Pp. 47-49.

Hershkovitz, 1988

Callicebus torquatus medemi

Member of the torquatus group.

Hershkovitz, P. (1988) Origin, Speciation, and Distribution of South American Titi Monkeys, Genus Callicebus (Family Cebidae, Platyrrhini), by Philip Hershkovitz . Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 140 (1): 240-272.

Hernandez-Camacho and Defler, 1989

Callicebus torquatus medemi

Distribution: known from Intendencia del Putumayo (north of the Rio Guamués) and the Comisaria of Amazons till the La Chorrera region (Rio Igara-Paraná).


Hershkovitz, 1990

Callicebus torquatus medemi

Member of the torquatus Group.

Synonym: Callicebus torquatus medemi (Hershkovitz, 1990).

Type locality: Rio Mecaya, near mouth, right bank Rio Caqueta, Putumayo, Colombia; altitude approximately 180 m. Type in Field Museum of natural History.

Distribution: Amazonian region of Colombia between the Rios Caqueta and Putumayo in the Intendencia del Putumayo and southern part of the Intendencia de Caqueta; altitudinal range between 100 and 450 m above sea level.

Description: Hands, feet, tail, sideburns, and under parts except throat entirely or predominantly blackish.

Comparisons: Distinguished from C. torquatus torquatus and C. t. purinus by darker coloration throughout, including blackish hands, legs, and underparts; from lucifer, regulus, and lugens by upper surface of hands uniformly or dominantly blackish.

Specimens examined: Total 17. Colombia – Caqueta: Tres Troncos, La Tagua; Putumayo: Cano Caucaya; El Pepino; Quebrada El Hacha; Rio Mecaya (including holotype); Umbria.

Hershkovitz, P. (1990). Titis, New World Monkeys of the genus Callicebus: A Preliminary     Taxonomic Review. Fieldiana Zoology 55: 1-109.

Kobayashi, 1995

Callicebus torquatus medemi

Based on cranial measurements, the genus can be divided in five groups:

  • the donacophilus group (including modestus, olallae, d. donacophilus and d. pallescens)
  • the cupreus group (including caligatus, c. cupreus, c. discolor and c. ornatus)
  • the moloch group (including brunneus, h. hoffmannsi, h. baptista, moloch and cinerascens)
  • the personatus group (including p. personatus, p. nigrifrons, p. melanochir)
  • the torquatus group (including t. lucifer, t. lugens, t. medemi, t. regulus, t. purinus and t. torquatus).

The group position of C. dubius remains uncertain; C. oenanthe and C. barbarabrownae were not examined.

Kobayashi, S. (1995). A phylogenetic study of Titi Monkeys, Genus Callicebus, based on cranial measurements: 1. Phyletic groups of Callicebus. Primates 36(1): 101-120.

Groves, 2001

Callicebus medemi

Synonyms: Callicebus torquatus medemi (Hershkovitz, 1963)

Distribution: A very small range between the Rio Caquetá and Rio Putumayo, Colombia.

Description: (after Hershkovitz): hands and feet, tail, sideburns, and underside (except for throat) blackish. Rather small in size.

Remarks: This is the only instance where I propose to modify the revisions of Hershkovitz (1963, 1990). The black hands and feet of this taxon are diagnostic. According to Hershkovitz (1990) its range is isolated well to the north of other members of the group, but Hernández-Camacho and Cooper (1976) mapped C. torquatus lugens to its immediate north in Colombia, separated by the Rio Caquetá.


Van Roosmalen et al., 2002

Callicebus medemi

Type locality: Río Mecaya, near mouth, at right bank of Río Caquetá, Putumayo, Colombia. Holotype is an adult female, skin and skull, in the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.

Distribution: The Colombian Amazon between the Ríos Caquetá and Putumayo in the Intendencia del Putumayo and the southern part of the Intendencia de Caquetá.

Description: Head, sideburns, hands, feet, tail, and under parts except throat entirely or predominantly blackish, throat white. Distinguished from C. torquatus, C. regulus, and C. purinus by much darker (blackish) coloration throughout, including the blackish hands, legs, and under parts; from C. lucifer and C. lugens by upper surface of hands uniformly or dominantly blackish instead of orange and white, respectively.

van Roosmalen, G.M.; van Roosmalen, T. and  Mittermeier, R.A. (2002). A taxonomic review of the titi monkeys, genus Callicebus Thomas 1903, with the description of two new species, Callicebus bernhardi and Callicebus stephennashi, from Brazilian Amazonia. Neotropical Primates 10(Suppl.): 1-52.

Rowe and Martinez, 2003

Callicebus medemi

The map included in Van Roosmalen et al. (2002) indicates that the range of C. medemi to be between the Rio Caquetá in Colombia and the Rio Aguarico in Ecuador. The titi observed on the north bank of the Rio Aguarico, Ecuador (00º41.670’S, 076º27.736’W) were reddish brown in colour and had the yellow/gold hands of C. lucifer. The range of C. lucifer must thus extend further west than described by Van Roosmalen et al. (2002), and the corresponding range of C. medemi is perhaps limited by the Rio Putamayo, which forms the border of Colombia and Ecuador. This range would be consistent with Hershkovitz (1990) and Groves (2001).

Rowe, N. and Martinez, W. (2003). Callicebus sightings in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Neotropical Primates 11(1): 32-35.

Defler, 2004

Callicebus torquatus medemi

Distribution: Callicebus torquatus is found throughout lowland Colombian Amazonia up to about 500m of altitude in Putumayo and probably about the same in Caquetá. The species has been observed on the left bank of the Guayabero River, where it was collected in 1959 by Hernandez-Camacho, In La Macarena National Park, and recently it was observed north of the Guayabero above La Cordillera de los Picachos National park. The species is known in the Vichada selva between the Vichada and Guaviare Rivers, reaching the middle Tomo River, where it probably extends to the upper Tomo, although this needs to be confirmed.
It is not found on the lower Tomo River or lower Tuparro River, nor is it found on the north bank of the lower Vichada River, contrary to the distribution map of Hershkovitz (1990). This error is due to the collection of a specimen by the English ornithologist Cherrie in about 1904 from Maipures, which evidently was a captive animal obtained in the existing village of Maipures on the left bank.

Description: The species pelage is uniformly reddish brown or blackish brown, the tail is blackish mixed with some reddish hairs; hands and feet whitish or dark brown. This pelage contrasts in all of the subspecies with a band of white hair which extends upwards from the chest and follows the neck, prolonging itself to the ears. This extension to the ears is weak in Callicebus torquatus torquatus, a subspecies not confirmed for Colombia and different from the other subspecies which have white extending to the base of the ears.
Medemi: the pelage is predominantly black and variable looking like lugens or like lucifer but with the white chest and the hands are blackish instead or whitish.

Defler, T.R. (2004). Primates of Colombia.

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