Extractive foraging of toxic caterpillars in wild northern pig-tailed macaques (Macaca leonina)
- 289 Downloads
Extractive foraging in nonhuman primates may involve different levels of technical complexity in terms of the number of actions that must be performed and the manual dexterity involved. We describe the extractive foraging of caterpillars in wild northern pig-tailed macaques (Macaca leonina) at Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. The study group, observed from May to December 2016 (n = 146 days), comprised 60–70 habituated individuals, including 3–4 adult males, 20–23 adult females, and 36–47 immatures. Four adult males and five adult females, observed from September to November 2016 for a total of 24 days, were selected for focal animal sampling. Northern pig-tailed macaques were observed eating at least two families (Erebidae and Limacodidae) and three genera (Macrobrochis sp., Phlossa sp. and Scopelodes sp.) of caterpillars. While the monkeys ate short and small caterpillars with stinging setae and non-setae caterpillars without processing, they performed extensive caterpillar-rubbing behavior on large and long caterpillars with stinging setae. Based on 61 extractive foraging bouts, we found that caterpillar rubbing was hierarchically organized into five stages and 12 elements. Five stages of behavior sequence started with picking the caterpillar up, transporting it to a substrate, rubbing it to remove stinging setae, ingesting it, and then cleaning hands and mouth. Only adult macaques were observed using a leaf to rub stinging caterpillars.
KeywordsKhao Yai National Park Fallback Lepidoptera Caterpillar rubbing Hierarchically organized behavior
We thank the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) for permitting FT and UHR to conduct research in the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation (DNP) for allowing us to conduct research in Khao Yai National Park (KYNP). We thank Mr. Kanchit Srinopawan, superintendent of KYNP, and his staff for their support of science research and administrative help. The project was partially funded by a grant from the SIU Graduate and Professional Student Research Awards to FT.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This research was non-invasive and based solely on observational data, without any animal experiments. Non-human primates observed in this research were previously habituated to human presence.
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. This research was conducted under research permission from NRCT, DNP, and KYNP in Thailand. All procedures performed in this study involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted. This research was carried out under IACUC permit number 15-008 from SIUC.
Supplementary material 1 (MOV 57933 kb)
- Bartlett TQ (2009) Seasonal home range use and defendability in white-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar) in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. In: Lappan S, Whittaker DJ (eds) The gibbons: new perspectives on small ape socioecology and population biology. Springer, New York, pp 265–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bowers MD (1993) Aposematic caterpillars: life-styles of the warningly colored and unpalatable. In: Stamp NE, Casey TM (eds) Caterpillars ecological and evolutionary constraints and foraging. Chapman & Hall, New York, pp 331–371Google Scholar
- Byrne RW (2005) The maker not the tool: the cognitive significance of great ape manual skills. In: Roux V, Bril B (eds) Stone knapping: the necessary conditions for a uniquely hominid behavior. McDonald Institute Monograph series, Cambridge, pp 159–169Google Scholar
- Gibson KR (1986) Cognition, brain size, and the extraction of embedded food resources. In: James GE, Phyllis CL (eds) Primate ontogeny, cognition, and social behaviour. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 93–103Google Scholar
- Gibson KR, Ingold T (1993) Tools, language and cognition in human evolution. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Humle T, Fragaszy DM (2011) Tool use and cognition in primates. In: Campbell CJ, Fuentes A, MacKinnon KC, Bearder SK, Stumpf RM (eds) Primates in perspective. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 637–651Google Scholar
- IUCN and UNEP-WCMC (2017) The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge. https://www.protectedplanet.net. Accessed 20 Mar 2017
- Kawamura S (1954) A new type of behavior of the wild Japanese monkeys: an analysis of an animal culture. Seibutsu Shinka 2:11–13 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
- Kumara HN, Singh ME, Sharma AK, Singh MR, Ananda Kumar M (2000) Faunal component in the diet of lion-tailed macaque. Primate Rep 58:57–65Google Scholar
- McGrew WC (1993) Chimpanzee material culture: implications for human evolution. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Sandvik B (2009) World Borders Dataset. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. http://thematicmapping.org/downloads/world_borders.php. Accessed 20 Mar 2017
- Smitinand T (1989) Thailand. In: Cambell DC, Hammond HD (eds) Floristic inventory of tropical countries. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, pp 65–82Google Scholar
- Stehr FW (1987) Immature insects, vol 1. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, DubuqueGoogle Scholar
- Visalberghi E, Fragaszy D (2006) What is challenging about tool use? The capuchin’s perspective. In: Wasserman EA, Zentall TR (eds) Comparative cognition: experimental explorations of animal intelligence. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 529–552Google Scholar