International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 33–49

Grooming behavior of spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) on barro colorado Island, Panama

  • Jorge A. Ahumada

DOI: 10.1007/BF02547726

Cite this article as:
Ahumada, J.A. International Journal of Primatology (1992) 13: 33. doi:10.1007/BF02547726


Quantitative grooming data are presented for free-ranging black-handed spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) on Barro Colorado Island, Republic of Panama. A total of 126 grooming sessions was recorded, with an average session length of 2.0 min (range, 0.1 to 10.0 min). Grooming was an infrequent behavior; on average, individuals allocated only 2.5% of their daily activity to grooming. Two daily peaks of grooming activity were observed, one near midday and another in the late aftermoon between 1600 and 1700. Adult females groomed most frequently, followed by males and then juveniles. Juveniles were the most frequent recipients of grooming, followed by females and then males. Individual preferences were observed primarily between mother-offspring, male-male, and juvenile-male grooming partners in this male-bonded fission-fusion, species. Grooming interactions reflect many of the social characteristics of spider monkey societies: intraclass grouping preferences, long period of juvenile dependence, male philopatry, and female dispersal.

Key Words

groomingAteles geoffroyispider monkeyssocial behaviorsocial structure

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge A. Ahumada
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyPrinceton UniversityPrinceton