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Primates

, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 359–363 | Cite as

Spicing up the menu: evidence of fruit feeding in Galago moholi

  • Juan Scheun
  • Nigel C. Bennett
  • Andre Ganswindt
  • Julia NowackEmail author
News and Perspectives

Abstract

The African lesser bushbaby, Galago moholi, is described as a food specialist, feeding exclusively on small arthropods and gum primarily from Acacia karroo trees. We studied a population of G. moholi in a highly fragmented habitat in the southernmost part of its natural distributional range in South Africa. In this habitat, we opportunistically observed bushbabies feeding on fruits of the winter fruiting tree, Pappea capensis. Plot counts of tree composition revealed that although the dominant tree species in the area belonged to the genus Acacia, A. karroo trees were widely absent and gum could only be found in small quantities on other Acacia species. The analysis of P. capensis fruits showed high levels of protein, fat, and energy content, making the fruits a potentially important food source for G. moholi during winter when insect availability is low. Our observation is the first documented case of fruit feeding in G. moholi, suggesting that the species is not a food specialist as previously reported but can supplement its diet with fruit when available.

Keywords

Galago moholi Feeding Fruits Gum Winter food source 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Tom van Niekerk and Dr. Marti Koen for their hospitality and permission to work at Buffelsdrift conservation area. The research conducted was accomplished with the financial assistance of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG; DA 1031/3-1), the Department of Research and Innovation (University of Pretoria) and the DST-NRF SarchI Chair of Mammal Behavioural Ecology and Physiology. We thank K. Dausmann and J. Ganzhorn for the opportunity to analyze fruit samples at the University of Hamburg, Germany; the South African Weather Service for supplying weather charts for this study; and J.A. Mostert for providing invaluable assistance during the identification of tree species.

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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Scheun
    • 1
  • Nigel C. Bennett
    • 1
  • Andre Ganswindt
    • 1
    • 2
  • Julia Nowack
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology and Entomology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural SciencesUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Endocrine Research Laboratory, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary ScienceUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Animal Ecology and Conservation, Biocentre GrindelUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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