International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 1227–1243 | Cite as

Intragroup Social Relationships of Male Alouatta palliata on Barro Colorado Island, Republic of Panama

  • Elan WangEmail author
  • Katharine Milton


We examined social and spatial relations of adult males in one group of mantled howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata) on Barro Colorado Island (BCI) in central Panama to document patterns of association. Beyond the existence of an alpha male, we could not distinguish any linear dominance hierarchy among the 6 study males. All males copulated with estrous females. Our findings contrast with reports of intragroup male behavior in Costa Rican howlers. Study males engaged in little or no affiliative or agonistic behavior with one another, but engaged in significantly more such interactions with females. The alpha male, the oldest male and a younger male were most frequently in association with females. Of group males, the oldest male associated significantly more with other males. Overall, male behavior in mantled howling monkeys on BCI generally followed the van Hooff and van Schaik (1994) model of male relationships. The low incidence of intragroup social interactions of any type in the focal males may reflect the energetic costs of social behavior. We suggest that intragroup social relationships among mantled howler males are structured by more subtle means than overt physical interactions, possibly including vocal communication, relationships with individual group females, and kinship.

Alouatta mantled howlers male social behavior dominance affiliation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, Division of Insect BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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