Contract grant sponsor: NSF; Contract grant number: BCS 083337.
How Different Are Robust and Gracile Capuchin Monkeys? An Argument for the Use of Sapajus and Cebus
Article first published online: 10 FEB 2012
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
American Journal of Primatology
Special Issue: Capuchin Evolution: Comparing Behavior, Morphology, and Genetics Across Species
Volume 74, Issue 4, pages 273–286, April 2012
How to Cite
ALFARO, J. W. L., SILVA, J. D. S. E. and RYLANDS, A. B. (2012), How Different Are Robust and Gracile Capuchin Monkeys? An Argument for the Use of Sapajus and Cebus. Am. J. Primatol., 74: 273–286. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22007
- Issue published online: 26 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 10 FEB 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 2 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Received: 13 NOV 2011
- NSF. Grant Number: BCS 083337
- behavioral ecology;
- molecular biology;
Capuchin monkey behavior has been the focus of increasing numbers of captive and field studies in recent years, clarifying behavioral and ecological differences between the two morphological types: the gracile and the robust capuchins (also referred to as untufted and tufted). Studies have tended to focus on the gracile species Cebus capucinus (fewer data are available for C. albifrons, C. olivaceus, and C. kaapori) and on Cebus apella, a name that has encompassed all of the robust capuchins since the 1960s. As a result, it is difficult to ascertain the variation within either gracile or robust types. The phylogenetic relationships between gracile and robust capuchins have also, until now, remained obscure. Recent studies have suggested two independent Pliocene radiations of capuchins stemming from a common ancestor in the Late Miocene, about 6.2 millions of years ago (Ma). The present-day gracile capuchins most likely originated in the Amazon, and the robust capuchins in the Atlantic Forest to the southeast. Sympatry between the two types is explained by a recent expansion of robust capuchins into the Amazon (ca. 400,000 years ago). Morphological data also support a division of capuchins into the same two distinct groups, and we propose the division of capuchin monkeys into two genera, Sapajus Kerr, 1792, for robust capuchins and Cebus Erxleben, 1777, for gracile capuchins, based on a review of extensive morphological, genetic, behavioral, ecological, and biogeographic evidence. Am. J. Primatol. 74:273–286, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.