Abstract # 140:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 06:30 PM-09:00 PM: Session 14 (Mission Bay Ballroom CDE) Poster Presentation


FUR-RUBBING WITH PLANT EXUDATES IN WILD GOLDEN-HEADED LION TAMARINS (LEONTOPITHECUS CHRYSOMELAS)

C. E. Guidorizzi1,2 and B. E. Raboy2,3
1Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Programa de Pós-graduação em Zoologia , Ilheus, Bahia 45650-000, USA, 2Instituto de Estudos Socioambientais do Sul da Bahia, 3Smithsonian National Zoological Park
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Fur-rubbing with natural substances for self-medication and social communication has been described in some primates. We document fur-rubbing with exudates in wild populations of Leontopithecus chrysomelas and outline possible explanations. We observed lion tamarins in two locations in Southern Bahia, Brazil. REBIO-UNA represented contiguous moist forest and Fazenda Barro Branco (FBB) a mesophytic forest patch. Lion tamarins at REBIO-UNA used exudates from Thyrsodium spruceanum (Anacardiaceae); subjects at FBB used Myroxylon sp. (Fabaceae). Individuals pressed their sternal region, face or arms to the trunk while vertically clinging and used their hands to anoint other body parts. Lion tamarins at REBIO-UNA bit or pulled bark prior to anointing, likely to expose or induce exudate flow. All group members participated in bouts lasting up to 33 minutes. Eight events were noted at REBIO-UNA by one group during one year, occurring at different times throughout the day. At FBB events were more common [25 by one group in 14 months], peaking in the afternoon (median=14:50h) and mid wet season, when mosquitoes are presumably more abundant. Myroxylon sp. is a medicinal plant known for the aromatic and larvicidal properties of its resin. The lion tamarins may be using the resin as mosquito or insect repellent. Other less likely, but not necessarily mutually exclusive explanations include skin stimulation or pelage conditioning. This is the first record of such rubbing behavior in Callithricidae.