, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 103-114

Why don’tSaimiri oerstedii andCebus capucinus form mixed-species groups?

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Abstract

The instances of association with Cebus capucinustroops were monitored for 11 months as part of a field study of Saimiri oerstediiin a tropical wet forest in Costa Rica, Parque Nacional Corcovado. Contrary to the usual situation in South America, where S. sciureusforms persistent mixed-species groups with Cebus apella,in Corcovado S. oerstediirarely associated with Cebus capucinus;the frequencies were consistent with those expected from random association. Depending on the season, the S. oerstediitroop spent between 2.3 and 11.8% of its time in the vicinity of a Cebus capucinustroop. Most associations appeared to be chance meetings of short duration. When the two species did associate for an extended period, it was Cebus capucinus,and not S. oerstedii,that appeared to maintain the association, possibly in order to benefit from the antipredator behavior of S. oerstedii.There was no evidence that either species benefited from enhanced foraging efficiency when in association.