, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 395-413

Male life history and intergroup mobility among ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta)

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Abstract

Lemur catta shares a male-biased dispersal pattern with most primate species and the majority of mammals. Individuals in a free-ranging population of ringtailed lemurs were captured, marked, released, and monitored for a 40-month period. Sixty-four percent of the males (43 of 67) migrated or were missing within this period and all nine censused groups were affected by migration. Males migrate from their natal group and then may migrate again after reaching full adult body weight. Full-sized adult males migrate at a rate of 0.28 per year or once every 3.5 years and may change groups a number of times during their life. Migrations occurred within a 6-month period, ending just after the mating season. However, there is no direct connection between mating success and male migration. Females mate with transferring males, with group males, and with visitors from adjacent groups. The age-related pattern of male migration and the occurrence of extragroup mating inLemur catta is similar to that described for several species of macaques.