The effect of the presence of a familiar social partner on the interactions of saddle back tamarins with unfamiliar conspecifics was studied. Fifteen adult male-female pairs, of which six were composed of a castrated male and an intact female, served as subjects. All subject pairs were given two social encounters during which both mates met a strange male and two encounters during which they met a strange female. In addition, all subjects were given four encounters during which they met the same strangers while their own pair mates were absent. As a group, the subjects showed higher intensities of injurious aggression and of agonistic displays when they met strangers in the presence of their own pair mates. Females and castrated males, as subgroups, showed significant increases in most agonistic responses when they met strangers in the presence of their pair mates. Intact males, however, did not.