Female sexual behavior in the absence of male‐male competition in captive Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata)

Drew Rendall, Linda Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A captive group of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata). consisting of one adult male and three adult females, was observed for 88 hr during the 1988 mating season. We focused on the group's sexual activities because understanding how social dynamics affect reproductive behavior may enhance our ability to establish self‐sustaining captive populations. The adult male exhibited distinct preferences in copulation partners, although all females were receptive and cycled during the study period. The dominant female participated in the most copulations and successfully harassed and disrupted copulations between the male and the other females. The alpha female, therefore, actively constrained the formation of mating pairs. Further, the male did not consort with his year‐round female grooming partner. This female, the least dominant member of the group, engaged in the most autosexual and homosexual behavior. Birth season data show that only the dominant female bore offspring. This study emphasizes the influence of social dynamics on a group's reproductive potential and suggests an alternative means by which females can influence consort formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-328
Number of pages10
JournalZoo Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


  • adult sex ratios
  • captive management
  • dominance
  • reproductive success

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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