Date: 08 Aug 2010

The Ecology of Exudate Production and Exudate Feeding in Saguinus and Callimico

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Abstract

Callitrichines are small-bodied New World primates characterized by anatomical, behavioral, and/or physiological adaptations that enable individuals to exploit plant exudates. However, little is known concerning rates of exudate production and availability of exudates to primate consumers. In this investigation, we present data on patterns of exudate feeding in a mixed species troop of tamarins (Saguinus mystax and S. fuscicollis) in northeastern Peru, and a group of callimicos (Callimico goeldii) in northwestern Bolivia. In addition, we collected data on the amount and renewal rate of exudates produced from naturally occurring and experimentally induced wounds to tree species exploited by Saguinus and Callimico. Our results indicate that exudates are available to nongouging primate foragers during most or all months of the year. In Saguinus, exudates from tree trunks, Parkia pods, and holes gouged by pygmy marmosets (Cebuella pygmaea) accounted for 16.3% of total plant feeding and foraging time. In the case of Callimico, stilt root exudates, Parkia pod exudates, and trunk exudates accounted for 35% of plant feeding time. Daily exudate production on individual trees in Bolivia (n = 17) varied from 0 to 10.75 g/day. Total monthly trunk exudate production in naturally occurring wounds present on sample trees in Peru (n = 5) ranged from 0 to 369 g. Pod exudates were available principally during the dry season, whereas trunk exudates were available during all months of the year. We argue that exudates represent a reliable and renewable resource for nongouging callitrichines, and that tamarins and callimicos effectively track the location, availability, and productivity of trunk, stilt root, and pod exudate sources in their home range.