As with most larger primates, they specialise in fruits but will happily eat anything with food value, including insects and leaves.. They have not as far as I am aware been seen feeding on gum or sap, but almost anything else is on the menu – an escaped animal in the US was observed to eat acorns among other things, so nuts are probably also part of the wild diet. Unfortunately our female has diabetes, a common complaint in captive primates, and is probably due to being fed commercial fruit with a high sugar content compared to the fruits usually eaten by wild animals, especially mammals. These days the sugar content of the diet of all frugivorous mammals in captivity is carefully watched, but fruits similar to those eaten in the wild are quite hard to provide, so artificial diets are becoming increasingly common.
Secretive animals like titis do not make especially good exhibit animals, and as a result the captive population of tits is small. Of the numerous species, there are only two with even potentially self-sustaining captive populations, and the AZA in the US and EAZA in Europe have decided to focus on one each. In Europe the species is C.cupreus cupreus, a subspecies of the Coppery Titi, whereas in the US it is C. donacophilus, the White-eared Titi.
|C.donacophilus with tails entwined|
There have been very few studies of predation on wild titis, but birds of prey are likely to be the major enemy. Large snakes such as boas would certainly take them, but medium sized carnivores such as Tayra and Margay could also take them, especially at night when they are asleep in vine tangles or tree holes.
I mentioned that there were numerous species of titi earlier. As with many primates, it now appears they are far more diverse than was first thought, and where there were once believed to be only 4 or 5 species, the count today is probably nearer 20. As the different species occupy different forests, from rainforest with seasonal flooding to dry woodland edge in some species, there is an urgent need for studies into their ecology, which may be more variable than we think.
Next week, a dietary specialist, the White-faced Saki
(images from wikipedia)