International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 73–96 | Cite as

Female Defensibility in a Small Troops of Japanese Macaques vis-à-vis Nontroop Males and Copulation on the Periphery of the Troop


I provide data compiled over 4 yr on the mating behavior in small troops of wild Japanese macaques on Yakushima Island. The key parameters are the number of sexually receptive females, the number of nontroop males (NTMs), and copulation on the periphery of the troop. I analyzed the following aspects: 1) changes in the proportion of copulation with high-ranking males (HRMs) and NTMs, 2) variations in factors such as fluctuation in the number of sexually receptive females and troop males and their effects on the number of visiting NTMs, 3) the effect of attempted interruption of mounting series by other males, and 4) some aspects of copulation on the periphery of the troop. Throughout the study, 56% of the total number of females mated most frequently with the α-male in a single mating season. However, the relative mating success of HRMs varied over the years and between individuals. The number of visiting NTMs varied depending on the number of receptive females and troop males. Females tended to mate with the NTMs when they appeared around their troops. The direct effect of interruption of the mounting series by other males is equivocal. The females mated with the low-ranking males (LRMs) and NTMs on the periphery of the troop, which increased the possibility of mounting series ending with ejaculation. Females actively sought opportunities for copulation on the periphery of the troop by moving there or initiating close proximity with LRMs and NTMs there. On Yakushima Island, the mating success of HRMs was not always as high as that predicted by the priority of access model. The injury status of the HRM, the number of visiting NTMs, and female choice are all considered to influence a male’s mating success.


copulation on the periphery of the troop female choice Japanese macaque nontroop males small troops 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, KanrinInuyamaJapan

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