, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 147-156

Initiation and solicitation in male-female grooming in a wild Japanese macaque troop on yakushima island

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Grooming initiation among adult males and females of a Japanese macaque troop was analyzed during the non-mating season. Some gestures (“solicitation”) elicited grooming from partners at a high rate. Grooming initiation patterns were divided into two main types: (1) a male often solicited a female to groom him immediately after approaching her and was groomed by her; and (2) a female approached an alpha male selectively, and immediately groomed him. After a female groomed a male, she rarely solicited him to groom her and instead often moved away from him. These results indicated that males were motivated to be groomed, while females were more highly motivated to groom. Sex differences in grooming motivation can be explained by sex differences in the benefit to be groomed.