Reproductive Parameters of Wild Female Lagothrix lagotricha

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I describe the reproductive patterns of female woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha) based on a 12-year study of one group of them at Macarena Ecological Investigations Center, Meta, Colombia. As in other atelin species—muriquis and spider monkeys—characterized by male philopatry, female woolly monkeys leave their natal groups. The age of emigration is ca. 6 years. Females probably begin to copulate with adult males soon after emigration, while their mean age of first parturition is 9 years. They frequently changed groups until they birthed. The average interbirth interval is 36.7 mo (n = 13). All births occurred between July and December (late wet season to early dry season). Copulation occurred throughout the year. However, they copulated more frequently in the estimated conception period from December to May (early dry season to early wet season) than in the birth season. The females had a period of sexual inactivity averaging <23.4 mo after parturition, followed by a period of sexual activity >7.2 mo until conception. The copulation period and copulation cycle or interval between copulation periods averaged 2.3 and 11.3 days calculated by a conventional method, or 3.1 and 14.7 days by a slightly modified method. The reproductive parameters of woolly monkeys are quite similar to those reported for other atelins in many respects, except the immigration process and age of first copulation.

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