Abstract # 13206 Event # 168:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 11, 2018 11:45 AM-12:00 PM: (Chula Vista ) Oral Presentation


EVALUATING VISUAL CUES OF BREEDING STATUS IN A NEW WORLD MONKEY (NWM) SPECIES, THE SADDLEBACK TAMARIN (SAGUINUS FUSCICOLLIS)

L. A. Moreira1, M. Watsa2, G. Erkenswick2 and A. D. Melin1,3,4
1Department of Anthropology & Archaeology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, USA, 2Field Projects International, Department of Research, USA, 3Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, Canada, 4Department of Medical Genetics, University of Calgary, Canada
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     The persistence of color vision variation in NWM is a topic of enduring interest. Most diurnal NWM can be either dichromats (red-green colorblind; all males and homozygous females) or trichromats (“normal” color vision; heterozygous females) due to X-linked opsin gene variation. While adaptive explanations have focused on benefits for foraging, color vision might play an important role in communication, as it does for Catarrhines. By integrating study of color signals and species-specific vision model, we investigate the potential importance of color in signaling breeding status and age in a wild population of NWM, the saddleback tamarins. We conducted research at CICRA (Peru) for 3 years (2014, 1016 and 2017). Tamarin females (n = 23) were classified as breeders, nonbreeders, adults and juveniles. All females were trapped following a stablished protocol and spectral reflectance were collected using a spectrometer from the genitalia. Using the genitalia spectra, we modeled how conspicuous the genitalia are perceived by all color vision phenotypes present in the species. According to our model, all males can distinguish breeding from nonbreeding females (p = 0.02) and adult from juvenile females (p = 0.05) using color cues. These results suggest that color signals can indicate the reproductive status of females and so be important in sexual communication. This is the first report of a potential importance of color in signaling reproductive status in NWM.