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Am J Phys Anthropol. 2007 May;133(1):743-52.

Experience-dependent recapture rates and reproductive success in male grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus).

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  • 1Clinical Neurobiology Laboratory, German Primate Center, Göttingen 37077, Germany.


Male mating tactics can vary according to the potential for scramble or contest competition but also as a consequence of individual characteristics, such as body condition and previous experience. The influence of experience, i.e., residency, on male recapture rates and reproductive success was studied in a population of free-living grey mouse lemurs. Long-term capture data from 320 individuals revealed that both sexes had very low recapture probabilities within their first year in the study population, but recapture rates declined less sharply during the following years. Capture results and telemetric analyses on 12 focal males revealed that resident males had larger body mass and larger home ranges than new males. Home range size correlated with the number of accessible females, indicating that resident males had higher probabilities to meet mates than new males. The reproductive success of 132 candidate fathers, representing both resident and new males, was determined by means of molecular genotyping. Paternity determination was successful in 38 cases (success rate: 19%). Sixteen resident males and seventeen new males sired offspring. However, in relation to the number of candidate fathers being present in the mating season, resident males were twice as likely to reproduce successfully as new males. These findings suggest experience-dependent reproductive tactics that most likely correspond to a differential spatial knowledge of resources, mates and potential threats. The results generally agree with the predictions made for a scramble competition regime and demonstrate substantial behavioral plasticity in a nocturnal primate species with a dispersed multi-male/multi-female mating system.

(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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