, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 453–467 | Cite as

Measuring male-female relationships during the mating season in wild Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata yakui)

  • Joseph Soltis


Heterosexual relationships during one mating season were examined in a wild troop of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata yakui) on Yakushima Island, Japan. Validation tests of putative mate choice behaviors demonstrated that female initiation and maintenance of proximity, female lookback at the male, and sexual presents to the male, were associated with increased mating. Male grooming the female was also associated with increased mating. Ten dyadic social behaviors were subject to principal components analysis to empirically define behavioral dimensions of male-female relationships. The analysis yielded four relationship dimensions: ‘Mutual Choice and Male Coercion,’ ‘Female Choice’ (two types), and ‘Mutual Choice’ Dyads tended to be characterized by more than one dimension. The results suggested that females sought matings with multiple males of various dominance ranks. Female relationships with high ranking males contained elements of male coercion and mate guarding, however, because these males attempted to inhibit females from mating with lower ranking males. The correlation between each relationship dimension and mating success depended, in part, on the dominance rank of males. Relationships involving high ranking males, which were most likely to contain elements of male coercion and mate guarding, were associated with mating success. Relationships involving low ranking males, which usually lacked such coercive elements. were less strongly correlated with mating success. These results, obtained from a wild troop, are compared to those previously obtained in captive and provisioned groups of Japanese macaques.

Key Words

Sexual selection Mate choice Relationships Macaca fuscata 


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Soltis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Social Behavior. Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityAichiJapan

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