International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 487–495 | Cite as

Relatedness and Social Behaviors in Cercopithecus solatus

  • Marie J. E. Charpentier
  • Delphine Deubel
  • Patricia Peignot


Inclusive fitness and kin selection theories predict that organisms will evolve biased behavior toward kin when the inclusive fitness benefits outweigh the costs of such behaviors. Researchers have long observed that primates bias their behavior toward relatives, particularly maternal kin. We examined the effect of kinship on social behaviors in a semifree-ranging colony of Cercopithecus solatus, a poorly studied forest guenon species. We used microsatellite loci and paternity analyses to determine the degree of relatedness between individuals, as well as kinship. Individuals biased some of their behavior according to relatedness. Specifically, related individuals are more spatially associated and less aggressive toward each other. When we replaced the relatedness coefficients with defined kin categories, Cercopithecus solatus seemed to behave preferentially toward maternal kin versus paternal kin. Even though the setting of the colony and the small sample size limit our conclusions, we discuss the potential implications of our finding for the study of the impact of kin selection in primate social relationships.


kin selection kinship semifree-ranging group social behaviors sun-tailed monkey 



We thank past and present staff at the Primate Centre at CIRMF for maintaining the long-term records of the Cercopithecus solatus colony. CIRMF is financed by the Gabonese government, TOTAL Gabon, and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We also thank F. Prugnolle, A. Widdig, and C. Fitzpatrick for their helpful comments on the manuscript. The study complies with the current laws of the Gabon. We sought and obtained approval from the local primate ethical committee before the start of the study. M. J. E. Charpentier is currently financed by a Marie-Curie Outgoing Fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie J. E. Charpentier
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Delphine Deubel
    • 3
  • Patricia Peignot
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.CEFE-CNRS UMR 5175Montpellier Cedex 5France
  3. 3.UGENET, CIRMFFrancevilleGabon

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