Food choice and food competition among the three major primate species of French Guiana



The three most important primates of French Guiana are frugivorous species, but to different degrees. Ateles paniscus is almost exclusively frugivorous, Alouatta seniculus frugivorous-folivorous, and Cehus apellu partially insectivorous; thus, the overall specific diet spectra arc well separated. During the season when fruit production is minimal, fruit intake by all species is also minimal which results in the greatest diversities in diet and the lowest diet overlaps. Real competition for the common main food category, i.e. fruits, only occurs during the most favourable period. Nevertheless, some fruit characteristics (e.g. size…) separate the monkey species from each other in fruit choice and make the interspecific competition of little importance.