Color vision and niche partitioning in a diverse neotropical primate community in lowland Amazonian Ecuador

Carrie C. Veilleux, Shoji Kawamura, Michael J. Montague, Tomohide Hiwatashi, Yuka Matsushita, Eduardo Fernandez-Duque, Andres Link, Anthony Di Fiore, Donald Max Snodderly

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

2 Citas (Scopus)


A recent focus in community ecology has been on how within-species variability shapes interspecific niche partitioning. Primate color vision offers a rich system in which to explore this issue. Most neotropical primates exhibit intraspecific variation in color vision due to allelic variation at the middle-to-long-wavelength opsin gene on the X chromosome. Studies of opsin polymorphisms have typically sampled primates from different sites, limiting the ability to relate this genetic diversity to niche partitioning. We surveyed genetic variation in color vision of five primate species, belonging to all three families of the primate infraorder Platyrrhini, found in the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve in Ecuador. The frugivorous spider monkeys and woolly monkeys (Ateles belzebuth and Lagothrix lagotricha poeppigii, family Atelidae) each had two opsin alleles, and more than 75% of individuals carried the longest-wavelength (553–556 nm) allele. Among the other species, Saimiri sciureus macrodon (family Cebidae) and Pithecia aequatorialis (family Pitheciidae) had three alleles, while Plecturocebus discolor (family Pitheciidae) had four alleles—the largest number yet identified in a wild population of titi monkeys. For all three non-atelid species, the middle-wavelength (545 nm) allele was the most common. Overall, we identified genetic evidence of fourteen different visual phenotypes—seven types of dichromats and seven trichromats—among the five sympatric taxa. The differences we found suggest that interspecific competition among primates may influence intraspecific frequencies of opsin alleles. The diversity we describe invites detailed study of foraging behavior of different vision phenotypes to learn how they may contribute to niche partitioning.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)5742-5758
Número de páginas17
PublicaciónEcology and Evolution
EstadoPublicada - may. 2021


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