Abstract # 13298 Event # 68:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 22, 2019 03:00 PM-03:15 PM: (Room 326) Oral Presentation


C. Miles, M. R. Bowen, R. Hegseth and C. K. Wolovich
Florida Southern College, 111 Lake Hollingsworth Dr., Lakeland, Florida 33801, USA

Olfactory communication aids in the regulation of social behavior. Owl monkeys (Aotus spp.) are monogamous primates that scent mark using specialized subcaudal glands. We observed scent marking in captive owl monkeys (A. nancymaae) (n = 21 monkeys) during 20-minute trials (n = 199 trials; 66.3 total hrs) and analyzed video from camera traps (15 s video at 5-min intervals, 20:00- 06:00 hrs) (n = 12 groups; 42.0 total hrs) to determine if the rates of marking differ between sexes, and/or vary with age, time of night, and location (perch, food tray, nestbox). Males and females had similar rates of scent marking, and marking was uniformly distributed throughout the night. The rates of scent marking by males was positively related to age (p = 0.028). Scent marking was not confined to food trays or nestboxes, but occurred on all substrata. The rates of scent marking by females was positively related to those of their male partners (n = 8 pairs, p = 0.016). Furthermore, the rates of nestbox marking by females was related to those of their male partners (p = 0.018), suggesting that monkeys may use overmarking as a form of mate-guarding. Owl monkeys exhibit sexually monomorphic scent marking; therefore, both sexes may contribute equally to advertising territoriality and mate-status. Our findings suggest that scent marking in owl monkeys functions in the maintenance of monogamy.