ABSTRACT Terrestrial arthropod groups, including insects, spiders, and millipedes, represent an important food resource for primates. However, species consumed and patterns and rates of arthropod-related feeding for most frugivorous primates are still poorly known. We examined stomach contents of 178 Amazonian primate specimens of nine genera and three families obtained from community-based collections voluntarily donated by subsistence hunters. Based on our results, we assessed whether consumption patterns followed the expected negative relationship between arthropod ingestion and body size as postulated in the Jarman-Bell and Kay models. We identified 12 consumed arthropod taxa, including insects (beetles, grasshoppers, ants, flies, caterpillars, praying mantises, and others), spiders and millipedes. Medium and large-bodied primates consumed a greater diversity (measured by Simpson’s diversity index) and richness of arthropods, but differed in terms of composition of taxa consumed. Cacajao, Sapajus and Cebus consumed proportionally more Orthoptera and Coleoptera compared to the other primate genera analyzed. We did not find significant correlations between richness and diversity of arthropods consumed and primate body mass. There was a slight tendency for the decrease in the relative content of arthropods in the diet with increased body mass in medium and large primates, which does not provide full support for the Jarman-Bell and Kay models. The study of arthropod consumption by arboreal primates in the wild remains challenging. Our study suggests that arthropods supply essential nutrients for frugivorous primates, and provides an alternative method to analyse faunal consumption patterns in primates.
Date made available13 Sept 2022
PublisherSciELO journals

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