Finger monkeys (Cebuella pygmaea) are also called “pocket monkeys” and “pygmy marmosets,” and are classified in the genera Callithrix which contains 18 species. This monkey species is one of the few allowed, in some states, to live as a domesticated pet. Finger monkeys live in Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil.
The finger monkey is the smallest monkey in the world. Most of them have around 14 to 16 centimeters (5.5 to 6.3 inches) and the tail reaches its body size meaning, approximately, another 15 to 20 centimeters (5.9 to 7.9 inches). They weigh from 100 to 200 grams, the female can weigh around 120 grams, and the male around 140 grams.
Their gray with yellow and green streaks on the fur gives them a grizzly look, perfect for camouflage. They have long hair around their ears. They belong to the primates, relatively primitive with small brains and claws. Their body temperature has significant variations throughout the day, around 4° C. But how much does a finger monkey cost?
Pet finger monkey prices
A finger monkey can cost from $1,500 up to $6,000, depending on several factors including your geographical location, the store or breeder you’re buying it from, its age, and gender. You also need a cage for your baby finger monkey that depending on the construction, complexity, and size, might cost you from $150 to $400.
The pocket monkey’s food will cost you around $35 – $75 per month, which we say is reasonable enough.
If you buy it from another state or online, and not from a local pet store you might need to consider the shipment fees, which may vary from $100 to $300.
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The finger monkey’s natural habitat and food
They are very active, live in tall trees, and jump a lot. They are diurnal animals and very territorial, marking their territory with the odors produced by the glands on the head and tummy. At night, they sleep in hollows or on leave beds near a food source. Their diet consists mostly of insects, fruits, and leaves, vegetables, but they’ll feed on core branches as well, with the help of their long incisors.
Finger monkey housing – What will you need?
The pet will need a lot of space to move around if you want it to be happy. If you want to own a pygmy marmoset, then you will have to get a large cage that has a lot of plants to mimic its natural habitat and the environment the pet is used to tunnels, but also a lot of swings so it can play around.
If you want to have a healthy monkey, then adequate sunlight is a must. Their housing will need some special types of arrangements to ensure that these pets have enough sunlight. If there is no possibility to provide sufficient sunlight, then you will have to add a heating source or infrared lamp so that the available light is supplemented. For this, a 250-watt bulb will most likely work just fine.
Keep in mind that you will also have to clean the pet’s cage regularly to get rid of some of the odor, considering that it has really smelly urine.
The finger monkey’s behavior
Pygmy marmoset monkeys use their vocal cords to signal danger, to call or attract attention. Sounds can be short for the nearby group members or longer for those that are farther.
They don’t live in large groups. They gather up to 12 members. They love to socialize and spend much of their time with others of their kind.
They can be very aggressive if they feel in danger. They can fight till the last breath if they need to defend themselves or defend those who are part of the group. The adult finger monkey’s behavior is still under research.
When keeping one in captivity, you will have to provide it with toys and socialize with it to help pass the time. If you want to take it outside for walks, you will also have to consider buying a leash.
Finger monkey’s reproduction
They live in groups of 3 to 12 individuals. In general, there are a couple of adults and their progenies. They are both monogamous and polygamous. Babies are raised and protected by all the group members.
The birth of twins is very common. Gestation lasts 4 or 5 months. They reach maturity at the age of 1 year and a half. They communicate using shouts and gestures.
Their unfriendliness shout is not perceived by the human ear. Their only enemies are the birds of prey. The average lifespan of a finger monkey is 11 years in the wild and 20 in captivity.
Marmoset Monkey Health Concerns
Pygmy marmosets catch colds pretty easily. And that’s not all; they also get most of the diseases that would infect humans. Among the most common diseases they face are HIV, cold sores, measles, and even chicken pox.
Keep in mind that you will have to find a vet who knows how to deal with such pets and give them proper veterinary care if they were to get infected with a disease, which can get pricey pretty easily.
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These tiny monkeys are considered the most wanted exotic pets, but, unfortunately, they adapt quite hard around people, and most of them suffer depression once they are moved from their environment or group. In some cases, depression can be fatal.
Finger monkey facts – some are incredible
One of the most interesting things about the finger monkey is, of course, its size. It’s its small size that makes it one of the most unique animals on the planet.
However, there are other very interesting facts that set this monkey apart from other creatures, things that are more or less known.
So check out some of the most amazing facts about the finger monkey that will surely make you reconsider these tiny animals.
- Finger monkeys are actually categorized under two different species. The first one is the Cebuella Niveiventris, and is the actual Eastern pygmy marmoset, while the other one is known as the Western Pygmy marmoset, with its scientific name Cebuella Pygmaea.
- The male and female monkey pair will not only breed together for their whole lives but they will also live together.
- They also have a common practice in the monkey world when it comes to grooming their fur, and this is to help each other with this task.
- Pocket monkeys are also known as omnivores, eating anything from tree sap to fruits, butterflies, and most types of berries.
- You will also notice that these tiny animals have pointed fingernails that help them climb all kinds of trees.
- Their heads are able to rotate 180 degrees to watch out for predators
- They have sharp claws and walk on all four limbs, making movement even in vertical planes quite easy. They don’t have opposable thumbs.
- This particular pirate species prefers to live on the tops of trees.
Do you want to see just how cute these finger monkeys are? Check out the video below:
Should the average working Joe get a pet finger monkey?
Buying and then owning a finger monkey as a pet will be quite expensive because the initial cost of the monkey won’t be the only expense you will have to consider. This means that before you buy it, you should be sure that you have the necessary funds to get it and then raise it, without endangering your monthly budget.
How to look for marmoset monkeys for sale?
If you plan to get such a primate as a pet, remember that it is a wild animal, so only buy one from a pet shop, to make sure that it has been vaccinated and isn’t aggressive to humans, especially children.
Never look for finger monkeys for sale on open markets like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Look on online stores specialized in exotic pets or talk to reputable breeders. Never buy from someone you don’t know before doing your due diligence. Specialized stores and reputable breeders will be able to guarantee the health and proper behavior of the pet and they will give you tips on taking care of this unusual animal.
Also, as these primates are considered exotic animals, you will probably be required to get a license or permit before you can buy one, depending on the state in which you live. Kansas is the state with the fewest regulations when it comes to owning exotic pets and if you live there you are in luck, as you won’t need any papers to get a pet marmoset.
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