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Feeding Ecology of Sympatric Mouse Lemur Species in Northwestern Madagascar

  • Ute Radespiel
  • Wiebke Reimann
  • Malalatiana Rahelinirina
  • Elke Zimmermann
Article

We performed a comparative pilot study on vertical space use and feeding ecology of 2 closely related sympatric mouse lemur species in northwestern Madagascar. We recorded feeding behavior and the use of vertical forest strata for 6 gray and 4 golden-brown mouse lemur females that we followed for 120 h. We carried out feeding experiments and analyzed fecal samples for food remains. Both species showed no significant difference in use of forest strata. They had a similar overall diet, with insect secretions and gum as main plant food resources; arthropod remains occurred in about half of all fecal samples. Both lemurs used in common >50% of the plant species that each consumed, which accounts for ≥70% of all individual plants used. However, both species used >40% of their feeding plant species exclusively and seemed to differ in their degree of specialization on certain plant species.

Key words:

diet feeding ecology Microcebus Strepsirhines 

Notes

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We thank the Commission Tripartite of the Malagasy government and the Department des Eaux et Forêts (DEF) and the Association pour la Gestion des Aires Protégées (ANGAP) for permission to work in Ampijoroa. We are indebted to the late Prof. Berthe Rakotosamimanana and Dr. Daniel Rakotondravony (University of Antananarivo) for institutional help. We thank Frank Rakotonasolo for the taxonomic identification of plant species, Mme. Balsama and Dr. Melber for identification of the animal remains in the fecal samples, and the Durrell Wildlife Preservation Trust for the climatic data of Ampijoroa. Many thanks go to Pia Braune, Mathias Craul, Nina Farwig, Blanchard Randrianambinina, Jaofetra Randrianarivony, and Solofonirina Rasoloharijaona for their help during data collection. Comments of 2 anonymous referees considerably improved the manuscript. The DFG (Zi 356/12), VW (I 72968), and the DAAD (travel grant to Wiebke Reimann) supported the study

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ute Radespiel
    • 1
  • Wiebke Reimann
    • 1
  • Malalatiana Rahelinirina
    • 2
  • Elke Zimmermann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of ZoologySchool of Veterinary Medicine HannoverHannoverGermany
  2. 2.Department of Animal BiologyUniversity of AntananarivoAntananarivoMadagascar

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