Metagenomic analyses reveal previously unrecognized variation in the diets of sympatric Old World monkey species
Advanced Search
Select up to three search categories and corresponding keywords using the fields to the right. Refer to the Help section for more detailed instructions.

Search our Collections & Repository

For very narrow results

When looking for a specific result

Best used for discovery & interchangable words

Recommended to be used in conjunction with other fields



Document Data
Clear All
Clear All

For additional assistance using the Custom Query please check out our Help Page


Metagenomic analyses reveal previously unrecognized variation in the diets of sympatric Old World monkey species

Filetype[PDF-782.15 KB]


  • Journal Title:
  • Personal Author:
  • NOAA Program & Office:
  • Description:
    Insectivory, or the consumption of insects and other arthropods, is a significant yet cryptic component of omnivorous primate diets. Here, we used high-throughput DNA sequencing to identify arthropods from fecal DNA and assess variation in insectivory by closely-related sympatric primates. We identified arthropod prey taxa and tested the hypothesis that variation in insectivory facilitates niche differentiation and coexistence among closely-related species with high dietary overlap. We collected 233 fecal samples from redtail (Cercopithecus ascanius; n = 118) and blue monkeys (C. mitis; n = 115) and used a CO1 metabarcoding approach to identify arthropod DNA in each fecal sample. Arthropod DNA was detected in 99% of samples (N = 223 samples), and a total of 68 families (15 orders) were identified. Redtails consumed arthropods from 54 families, of which 12 (21.8%) were absent from blue monkey samples. Blue monkeys consumed arthropods from 56 families, of which 14 (24.6%) were absent from redtail samples. For both species, >97% of taxa present belonged to four orders (Araneae, Diptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera). Redtail samples contained more Lepidoptera taxa (p<0.05), while blue monkey samples contained more Araneae (p<0.05). Blue monkeys consumed a greater diversity of arthropod taxa than redtail monkeys (p<0.05); however, the average number of arthropod families present per fecal sample was greater in the redtail monkey samples (p<0.05). These results indicate that while overlap exists in the arthropod portion of their diets, 20–25% of taxa consumed are unique to each group. Our findings suggest that variation in arthropod intake may help decrease dietary niche overlap and hence facilitate coexistence of closely-related primate species.
  • Keywords:
  • Source:
    PLOS ONE 14(6): e0218245
  • DOI:
  • Document Type:
  • Rights Information:
    CC BY
  • Compliance:
  • Main Document Checksum:
  • Download URL:
  • File Type:

Supporting Files

More +

You May Also Like

Checkout today's featured content at

Version 3.26.1