Dietary Differences Among Sympatric Callitrichinae in Northern Bolivia: Callimico goeldii, Saguinus fuscicollis and S. labiatus
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- Porter, L.M. International Journal of Primatology (2001) 22: 961. doi:10.1023/A:1012013621258
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Studies of sympatric species can provide important data to define how dietary and habitat requirements differ among them. I collected dietary data during a first yearlong comparative study of wild groups of Callimico goeldii, Saguinus labiatus and S. fuscicollis. Dietary overlap was highest between Saguinus fuscicollis and Saguinus labiatus throughout the year, and lowest between Saguinus labiatus and Callimico goeldii. All three species had high dietary overlap in February and March when a few abundant fruit species dominated their diets. Although all three species rely heavily on many of the same fruits and arthropods, there are several important distinctions among their diets. Surprisingly, Callimico goeldii consume large quantities of fungus throughout the year: 29% of annual feeding records. Mycophagy is more frequent in the dry season when fruits are scarce. In contrast, Saguinus labiatus rarely eat fungus during the period of fruit scarcity, and instead rely on nectar, a resource never exploited by Callimico goeldii. Saguinus fuscicollis also rely on nectar during periods of low fruit availability and increase their intake of arthropods and exudates. During April, a period of fruit scarcity, exudates comprise >50% of the feeding records of Saguinus fuscicollis. The use of different food resources during fruit scarcity, and differences in the heights at which each species feeds and forages appear to define a distinct ecological niche for each of them and allow them to maintain long-term associations throughout the year. Furthermore, I hypothesize that the limited distribution of Callimico goeldii may result from their restriction to forests that have high disturbance rates, where microhabitats appropriate for fungal growth are abundant, but which also contain abundant fruit and insects.