Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 265–269

Territoriality and monogamy among agile gibbons (Hylobates agilis)

  • John C. Mitani

DOI: 10.1007/BF00292179

Cite this article as:
Mitani, J.C. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (1987) 20: 265. doi:10.1007/BF00292179


I simulated territorial intrusions by mated pairs, solitary males and solitary females through song playback to investigate the behaviors that agile gibbons (Hylobates agilis) use to maintain territoriality and monogamy. Mated male and female gibbons approached and duetted in response to a simulated territorial intrusion by a neighboring group. Strange solitary females elicited similar approach and singing responses from mated pairs. In contrast, the simulated presence of a solitary male consistently evoked approaches by mated males only. Females and males did not contribute equally to pair movements or to answering songs; males led the majority of approaches, while females initiated all duets. I hypothesize that carrying small, vulnerable infants may inhibit females from leading approaches. These results are consistent with previous studies which suggest that female territoriality prevents male gibbons from becoming polygynous.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Mitani
    • 1
  1. 1.Field Research CenterThe Rockefeller UniversityMillbrookUSA

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