Phylogenetic relationships of Mesoamerican spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi): Molecular evidence suggests the need for a revised taxonomy.

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 82: 484-494.


Mesoamerican spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi sensu lato) are widely distributed from Mexico to northern Colombia. This group of primates includes many allopatric forms with morphologically distinct pelage color and patterning, but its taxonomy and phylogenetic history are poorly understood. We explored the genetic relationships among the different forms of Mesoamerican spider monkeys using mtDNA sequence data, and we offer a new hypothesis for the evolutionary history of the group. We collected up to ~800 bp of DNA sequence data from hypervariable region 1 (HV1) of the control region, or D-loop, of the mitochondrion for multiple putative subspecies of Ateles geoffroyi sensu lato. Both maximum likelihood and Bayesian reconstructions, using Ateles paniscus as an outgroup, showed that (1) A. fusciceps and A. geoffroyi form two different monophyletic groups and (2) currently recognized subspecies of A. geoffroyi are not monophyletic. Within A. geoffroyi, our phylogenetic analysis revealed little concordance between any of the classifications proposed for this taxon and their phylogenetic relationships, therefore a new classification is needed for this group. Several possible clades with recent divergence times (1.7–0.8 Ma) were identified within Ateles geoffroyi sensu lato. Some previously recognized taxa were not separated by our data (e.g., A. g. vellerosus and A. g. yucatanensis), while one distinct clade had never been described as a different evolutionary unit based on pelage or geography (Ateles geoffroyi ssp. indet. from El Salvador). Based on well-supported phylogenetic relationships, our results challenge previous taxonomic arrangements for Mesoamerican spider monkeys. We suggest a revised arrangement based on our data and call for a thorough taxonomic revision of this group.


Freigegeben in M
Donnerstag, 20 Dezember 2018 11:36

DE BOER, L.E.M. & DE BRUIJN, M. (1990)

Chromosomal distinction between the red‐faced and black‐faced black spider monkeys (Ateles paniscus paniscus and A. p. chamek).

Zoo Biology 9 (4): 307-316.


The two subspecies of the black spider monkey, Ateles paniscus paniscus and A. p. chamek, can be distinguished by their chromosome number, 2n = 32 in the former and 2n = 34 in the latter. This difference most probably is the result of a tandem fusion between chromosomes 4 and 13 of the original Ateles karyotype (2n = 34) to form a unique metacentric chromosome in A. p. paniscus. Further differences between the subspecies concern the presence of additional interstial or terminal C‐bands in chromosomes 3, 5, and 12 of A. p. paniscus. A third difference is that chromosome 12 is metacentric in A. p. paniscus but is submetacentric in A. p. chamek. A. p. chamek shows dimorphisms caused by pericentric inversions in pairs 1, 5, 6, and 7 as well as in the Y chromosome. Since the dimorphisms in pairs 5 and 7 are only found in homozygous condition, they may indicate the existence of geographic variation within this subspecies. Differences in external characteristics possibly reflect these chromosomal difference. The necessity to lend A. p. paniscus full specific status should be considered, since karyologically this is the most distinct one of all forms of Ateles. In captive breeding A. p. paniscus should evidently be treated as a separate population, as hybridization with A. p. chamek may result in offspring with reduced fertility. The intra‐subspecific karyological variation in A. p. chamek and its possible consequences for taxonomy and captive breeding require further investigation.

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Freigegeben in D
Mittwoch, 19 Dezember 2018 17:03


Enrichment for Colombian black spider monkeys (Ateles fusciceps rufiventris) in a zoo.

Berikning för Colombiansk svart spindelapa (Ateles fusciceps rufiventris) i en djurpark.

Studentarbete. Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet, Skara. 28 Seiten.


The Colombian black spider monkey (Ateles fusciceps rufiventris) is critically endangered. The wild population is still decreasing and today there are no records of the actualpopulation size. Enrichment makes the animals keep their natural behaviours, which makes an eventual reintroduction to nature easier. The purpose of this study was to evaluate three different food enrichments for Colombian black spider monkeys. The purpose was also to try to come up with new ideas for enrichment suitable for the lifestyle and behaviour of spider monkeys. The attractiveness of branch balls, food puzzles for dogs and ice blocks, all filled with treats, was compared in order to determine the best enrichment for the spider monkeys. The food puzzles were used for the longest period of time and during a bigger proportion of time than the ice blocks, followed by the branch balls. But the branch balls made the frequencies of behaviours come the closest to those of wild spider monkeys. The literature study indicates that food enrichment is the most appreciated form of enrichment by spider monkeys. When empty, food enrichments lose their attractiveness. Though, in the end, a mix of different kinds of enrichment is what should be strived for, in order to fulfil all the needs of the spider monkeys, which increases their welfare and chances to later reproduce and survive in the wild.



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