Get access

Kinship and similarity in residency status structure female social networks in black-and-white colobus monkeys (colobus vellerosus)



Kinship shapes female social networks in many primate populations in which females remain in their natal group to breed. In contrast, it is unclear to which extent kinship affects the social networks in populations with female dispersal. Female Colobus vellerosus show routine facultative dispersal (i.e., some females remain philopatric and others disperse). This dispersal pattern allowed us to evaluate if facultative dispersed females form social networks shaped by an attraction to kin, to social partners with a high resource holding potential, or to similar social partners in terms of maturational stage, dominance rank, and residency status. During 2008 and 2009, we collected behavioral data via focal and ad libitum sampling of 61 females residing in eight groups at Boabeng-Fiema, Ghana. We determined kinship based on partial pedigrees and genotypes at 17 short tandem repeat loci. Kinship influenced coalition and affiliation networks in three groups consisting of long-term resident females with access to a relatively high number of female kin. In contrast, similar residency status was more important than kinship in structuring the affiliation network in one of two groups that contained recent female immigrants. In populations with female dispersal, the occurrence of kin structured social networks may not only depend on the kin composition of groups but also on how long the female kin have resided together. We found no consistent support for females biasing affiliation toward partners with high resource holding potential, possibly due to low levels of contest competition and small inter-individual differences in resource holding potential. Am J Phys Anthropol 153:365–376, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.