Contract grant sponsor: National Science Foundation, contract grant number: BCS-0542035, BCS-0452635; Contract grant sponsor: Leakey Foundation; Contract grant sponsor: American Society of Primatologists; Contract grant sponsor: Zoological Society of SanDiego; Contract grant sponsor: University of Michigan.
Juggling Priorities: Female Mating Tactics in Phayre's Leaf Monkeys
Article first published online: 8 FEB 2012
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
American Journal of Primatology
Volume 74, Issue 5, pages 471–481, May 2012
How to Cite
LU, A., BEEHNER, J. C., CZEKALA, N. M. and BORRIES, C. (2012), Juggling Priorities: Female Mating Tactics in Phayre's Leaf Monkeys. Am. J. Primatol., 74: 471–481. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22004
- Issue published online: 17 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 8 FEB 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 30 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Received: 7 JUN 2011
- National Science Foundation. Grant Numbers: BCS-0542035, BCS-0452635
- Leakey Foundation
- American Society of Primatologists
- Zoological Society of San Diego
- University of Michigan
- adolescent males;
- mate choice;
- postconceptive mating
Extended sexual receptivity in primates is thought to facilitate paternity confusion, thus decreasing the risk of infanticide. However, females might also provide some indication of ovulation to attract preferred males during fertile periods. We examined female mate preferences across defined receptive periods (N = 59) in a group of wild Phayre's leaf monkeys (Trachypithecus phayrei crepusculus) at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary (February–September 2006; 2,603 contact hours). The group contained seven cycling adult females and three reproductively active males (one adult and two adolescents). We predicted that females would prefer the adult male during periovulatory (POP) receptive periods, but the adolescent males during nonperiovulatory (NPOP) and postconceptive (PC) periods. We collected focal and ad libitum data on sexual and agonistic behaviors to determine female preferences and male awareness of female fertility. We also determined the degree of mating overlap to assess if males were capable of monopolizing females. Our results indicate that females were more frequently proceptive and receptive toward the adult male during POP. By contrast, females were more proceptive and receptive toward one of the adolescent males during PC periods, but rarely interacted with the other adolescent. Patterns of attractivity and agonism across receptive periods suggested that the adult male could detect fertility, while the preferred adolescent could not. Finally, we found a high degree of overlap in total receptive period days, but a low degree of overlap in POP receptive days, suggesting that the adult male might have monopolized females, especially since he seemed to be aware of female fertility. Although these results suggest that females provide some information on ovulation, they also suggest that females attempt to confuse paternity, perhaps capitalizing on male differences in the ability to detect fertility. Am. J. Primatol. 74:471-481, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.