Abstract # 141:

Scheduled for Friday, June 21, 2013 05:15 PM-05:30 PM: Session 19 (Auditorium) Oral Presentation


ANALYSIS OF FECAL DNA TO IDENTIFY INSECTS CONSUMED BY WILD SADDLEBACK TAMARINS (SAGUINUS FUSCICOLLIS WEDDELLI) IN BOLIVIA

P. A. Garber, E. K. Mallott and R. S. Malhi
University of Illinois, Department of Anthropology, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA
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     The genus Saguinus represents a successful radiation of small-bodied New World monkeys. Studies of the tamarin diet indicate that insects and small vertebrates account for 22-77%% of total feeding and foraging time (Porter and Garber, 2013), and are an important source of lipids, protein, and metabolizable energy. Although tamarins are reported to commonly consume large-bodied insects such as grasshoppers and walking sticks (orthopterans), little is known concerning the degree to which smaller or less easily identifiable insect prey comprise an important component of their diet. In order to better understand tamarin insect feeding behavior, fecal samples from 20 wild saddleback tamarins (members of 7 groups) were collected and analyzed for the presence of insect DNA. DNA was extracted using a Qiagen stool extraction kit, and a ~280bp section of the COI mitochondrial gene was amplified using universal insect primers. Amplicons were sequenced on the Roche 454 platform. An analysis of these samples indicated the presence of 43 taxa of insects including 10 orders, 15 families, and 12 identified genera. Many of these taxa had not been previously identified in the tamarin diet. These results suggest that molecular analysis of fecal DNA represents an important research tool for identifying insect feeding patterns in small-bodied primates and, in the case of tamarins, reveals broad diversity in the taxa, foraging microhabitats, and size of arthropods consumed.