International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 901–917

Mating Tactics in Response to Costs Incurred by Mating with Multiple Males in Wild Female Japanese Macaques

  • Miki Matsubara
  • David S. Sprague

DOI: 10.1023/B:IJOP.0000029128.00559.91

Cite this article as:
Matsubara, M. & Sprague, D.S. International Journal of Primatology (2004) 25: 901. doi:10.1023/B:IJOP.0000029128.00559.91


We investigated the costs of mating with multiple males in terms of feeding time, traveling distances, sexual proceptivity, and male aggression, for wild female (Macaca fuscata yakui) on Yakushima Island, Japan. We analyzed all-day focal sampling data from 7 females during the mating season (Sept.-Nov. 1996). On days when estrous females copulated with multiple males, they decreased their feeding time to half that of anestrous days, traveled longer distances, showed more proceptive sexual behaviors and received more aggression from subordinate males than on days when they copulated with only the 1st-ranking male. On days when females copulated with only the 1st-ranking male, they showed no difference in feeding time with that of anestrous days, and expended less effort than the above mating pattern because of short traveling distances, diminished sexual proceptivity and a lower frequency of aggression received. The results suggest that the costs of estrous vary according to female sexual proceptivity and the number and social status of mating partners. Female Japanese macaques exhibit a mixed mating strategy over prolonged estrous periods, which may provide females with opportunities to maximize the benefits of copulating with multiple males and to minimize the costs of estrus by mating with only the 1st-ranking male. During an estrous cycle, females may be adjusting efforts for reproduction and survival; i.e., mating vs. feeding.

mating with multiple malesmating costsmating tacticsactivity budgettraveling distanceJapanese macaques

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miki Matsubara
    • 1
  • David S. Sprague
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Human Evolution Studies, Department of Zoology, Graduate School of ScienceKyoto UniversitySakyo, KyotoJapan
  2. 2.Ecological Management Unit, Ecosystems Group, National Institute for Agro-Environmental SciencesJapan