Integrating feeding behavior, ecological data, and DNA barcoding to identify developmental differences in invertebrate foraging strategies in wild white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus)

Elizabeth K. Mallott, Paul A. Garber, Ripan S. Malhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Invertebrate foraging strategies in nonhuman primates often require complex extractive foraging or prey detection techniques. As these skills take time to master, juveniles may have reduced foraging efficiency or concentrate their foraging efforts on easier to acquire prey than adults. Materials and methods: We use DNA barcoding, behavioral observations, and ecological data to assess age-based differences in invertebrate prey foraging strategies in a group of white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) in northeastern Costa Rica. Invertebrate availability was monitored using canopy traps and sweep netting. Fecal samples were collected from adult female, adult male, and juvenile white-faced capuchins (n = 225). COI mtDNA sequences were compared with known sequences in GenBank and the Barcode of Life Database. Results: Frequencies of Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera consumption were higher in juveniles than in adults. A significantly smaller proportion of juvenile fecal samples contained Gryllidae and Cercopidae sequences, compared with adults (0% and 4.2% vs. 4.6% and 12.5%), and a significantly larger proportion contained Tenthredinidae, Culicidae, and Crambidae (5.6%, 9.7%, and 5.6% vs. 1.3%, 0.7%, and 1.3%). Juveniles spent significantly more time feeding and foraging than adults, and focused their foraging efforts on prey that require different skills to capture or extract. Arthropod availability was not correlated with foraging efficiency, and the rate of consumption of specific orders of invertebrates was not correlated with the availability of those same taxa. Discussion: Our data support the hypothesis that juveniles are concentrating their foraging efforts on different prey than adults, potentially focusing their foraging efforts on more easily acquired types of prey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-254
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican journal of physical anthropology
Volume162
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Keywords

  • DNA barcoding
  • juvenile development
  • molecular diet analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology

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