Finger Monkey Facts | Anatomy, Diet, Habitat, Behavior

Also known as the pygmy marmoset (Cebuella pygmaea), finger monkey is the world’s smallest true monkey and is also one of the smallest primates. It is nearly the size of a human finger which is why it is called a finger monkey. Pygmy marmosets mainly occur in evergreen forests of the Amazon Basin in South America. A finger sized monkey is really an interesting monkey so we have gathered Finger Monkey Facts just for you.

Finger Monkey Facts


  • Finger monkey full grown averages 117 to 152 millimeters (4.6 to 6.0 in) in head-body length. The tail further adds 172 to 229 millimeters (6.8 to 9.0 in) to its length.
  • Adult finger monkey weighs up to 100 grams (3.5 oz) with females are slightly heavier than males.
  • They are recognized by gold grey to brownish black fur with the undersides display yellowish orange to tawny color.
  • There are black rings on the pygmy marmoset’s tail.
  • Finger monkey is adapted to living in trees and is able to rotate its head 180 degrees like an owl.
  • They can easily cling to tree branches with the help of sharp claw-like nails.
  • Pygmy marmosets are one of the monkeys that walk on flour limbs and are able to leap 5 meters between branches.

Geographic Range & Habitat of Finger Monkey

  • Finger monkeys are thought to survive in the Amazon Basin occupying many countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, and west of the Rio Madeira.
  • One of the two subspecies is the western pygmy marmoset which is typically found in the eastern Peru, north-eastern Ecuador, and southern Colombia.
  • The eastern pygmy marmoset is likely to be found in the northern Peru, Acre, and eastern Brazil.
  • They make homes in river edge and evergreen forests typically near rivers at an altitude of about 20 meters (66 ft).
  • Pygmy marmoset’s population relies on the availability of tree sap.
finger monkey facts
Finger Monkey (Pygmy marmoset) ©

Feeding Ecology & Diet of Finger Monkey

  • Finger monkey is most likely to feed on tree gum. It will make holes in the bark of suitable trees to take out the sap.
  • Finger monkeys gather sap in a hole which they lap it up with the tongue. One other reason for doing this activity is to attract insects or butterflies that are fond of eating sap. Once these insects come to sap, monkeys capture and eat them in no time.
  • Fruits and nectar also form the essential part of pygmy marmoset’s diet.
  • They occupy smallest of the home ranges from 0.1 to 0.4 hectares (0.25 to 0.99 acres).
  • Like eastern Brazilian marmosets, pygmy marmosets typically rely on plant exudates.
  • They prefer to enjoy sap from a couple of trees at a time.
  • Apart from sap, they also feed on other exudates that ooze out of plant such as resin, latex, and gum.

Reproductive Behavior

  • Pygmy marmosets live in small groups of 2 – 9 individuals. Each of the group consists of two adult males followed by the two females.
  • They remain active 11 – 12 hours a days and their foraging activity stops when the sun sets.
  • The birth interval is of 149–746 days.
  • They use certain chemical alerts or warnings to communicate with each other.
  • A female gives birth to one or two babies a year.
  • Males take up the responsibility to care and guard the young.

Conservation Status of Finger Monkey

Least Concern

Learn more: Pygmy Marmoset Facts

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