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Sexual Interference in the Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey(Rhinopithecus roxellana):a Test of the Sexual Competition Hypothesis in a Polygynous Species

Paul A.GARBER  Kunio WATANABE  
【摘要】:Sexual interference which is defined as any disturbance directed to a mating pair by other individuals,has been reported in several primate species.It is widely suggested that successful harassers experience improved mating success by increasing their access to reproductive partners as well as by reducing the mating success of rivals. Although theories of primate sexual conflict highlight male intra-sexual mating competition,females also are reported to actively disrupt copulations between mating partners.In the present study,we investigated sexual interference(SI)in a multilevel troop of Golden snub-nosed monkeys(Rhinopithecus roxellana)inhabiting the Qinling Mountains,China.Behavioral observations of 11 one-male units(OMU)that comprised the multilevel troop were conducted from September 2007 to May 2008.During this period 17.1%of 652 documented intra-OMU sexual encounters were characterized either by mild or aggressive forms of harassment.Sexual harassment was typically performed by a single individual(91.9%),and in 75.7%of cases the harasser was an adult or sub-adult female. The frequency of female harassment was positively correlated with the number of adult and sub-adult females residing in an OMU,and resulted in a significant decrease in matings ending in ejaculation.We found that the amount of sexual interference a female received was not a significant predictor of her reproductive success.However,females who conceived during the mating season directed higher levels of harassment at other females then females who did not conceive.We evaluate the strength of the sexual competition hypothesis and the hormonally modulated aggression hypothesis in explaining patterns of sexual interference in female Golden snub-nosed monkeys.

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