Group benefit associated with polymorphic trichromacy in a Malagasy primate (Propithecus verreauxi)

Carrie C. Veilleux, Clara J. Scarry, Anthony Di Fiore, E. Christopher Kirk, Deborah A. Bolnick, Rebecca J. Lewis

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23 Citas (Scopus)


In some primate lineages, polymorphisms in the X-linked M/LWS opsin gene have produced intraspecific variation in color vision. In these species, heterozygous females exhibit trichromacy, while males and homozygous females exhibit dichromacy. The evolutionary persistence of these polymorphisms suggests that balancing selection maintains color vision variation, possibly through a ' trichromat advantage' in detecting yellow/orange/red foods against foliage. We identified genetic evidence of polymorphic trichromacy in a population of Verreaux's sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi) at Kirindy Mitea National Park in Madagascar, and explored effects of color vision on reproductive success and feeding behavior using nine years of morphological, demographic, and feeding data. We found that trichromats and dichromats residing in social groups with trichromats exhibit higher body mass indices than individuals in dichromat-only groups. Additionally, individuals in a trichromat social group devoted significantly more time to fruit feeding and had longer fruit feeding bouts than individuals in dichromat-only groups. We hypothesize that, due to small, cohesive sifaka social groups, a trichromat advantage in detecting productive fruit patches during the energetically stressful dry season also benefits dichromats in a trichromat's group. Our results offer the first support for the â € mutual benefit of association' hypothesis regarding the maintenance of polymorphic trichromacy in primates.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo38418
PublicaciónScientific Reports
EstadoPublicada - 2 dic. 2016
Publicado de forma externa


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