Sleeping habits of tamarins, Saguinus mystax and Saguinus fuscicollis (Mammalia; Primates; Callitrichidae), in north-eastern Peru



The sleeping habits of moustached tamarins, Saguinus mystax, and saddle-back tamarins, Saguinus fuscicollis, were studied in northeastern Peru. Five types of sleeping sites were distinguished: 1) Jessenia bataua palms; 2) tree hollows; 3) dense tangles of vegetation; 4) crotches; 5) open horizontal branches. Both tamarin species used Jesseniu-palms most frequently. Tree hollows ranked second in the saddle-back tamarins, but were never used by moustached tamarins. Sleeping sites of moustached tamarins were located significantly higher than those of saddle-back tamarins. Jessenia-palms used by moustached tamarins were significantly higher than palms from a random transect sample, but this was not the case for Jessenia-palms used by saddle-back tamarins. For both species, concealment seems to be more important than height above ground. The maximum number of subsequent nights spent in the same sleeping site was two in moustached tamarins and six in saddle-back tamarins. The two tamarin species did not compete for sleeping sites. While the general pattern of sleeping site selection conforms to hypotheses predicting safety from predators as a major factor, differences between the two tamarin species reflect general niche differences between them. Most sleeping sites are located in exclusively used parts of the home range. Moustached tamarins generally use sleeping sites that are close to the last feeding site of the afternoon. The distance between simultaneously used sleeping sites of moustached and saddle-back tamarins are generally close together, which helps to minimize time spent out of interspecific association.