Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 219-226

First online:

The mating system of Hanuman langurs: a problem in optimal foraging

  • A. SrivastavaAffiliated withDepartment of Anthropology, University of Göttingen, Bürgerstrasse 50, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany
  • , R. I. M. DunbarAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Liverpool, P.O. Box 147, Liverpool L69 3BX, UK

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Using data from 23 populations of Indian langurs (Presbytis entellus), we show that the proportion of one-male groups is a function of the males’ ability to defend groups of females, as predicted by the monopolisation model of Emlen and Oring (1977). However, we show that in addition to the number of females in the group and their reproductive synchrony, home range size is also a factor, probably because it affects a male’s willingness to search for other groups. These variables in turn are shown to be functions of environmental parameters (rainfall volume and seasonality, and mean ambient temperature) which probably act via the density of resources and refuges in habitats.

Key words Hanuman langurs Group structure Monopolisation of females Home range Resources