Insectivory by Gorilla gorilla gorilla in Southeast Cameroon
Source: International Journal of Primatology, Volume 24, Number 3, June 2003 , pp. 493-502(10)
Our study extends quantitative analyses of insect-eating by gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) to Cameroon. During a 2-mo period (May–June 2001), we recorded and analyzed feeding traces on plants and insects and in gorilla feces. We found 180 feeding traces, 17% of which involved insectivory. Seventy-eight percent of the fecal samples (n = 36) contained insects. Ants were found in 61% of the samples, termites in 39%, while 56% of the samples contained remains of other insects. We added ≥14 new species to the known insect diet of western lowland gorillas. Overall, social insects are predominant. The choice of prey by the Ntonga gorillas gives new clues for the existence of cross-cultural differences among gorilla populations. A comparison of the overall frequency of insectivory with those at other sites in Central Africa indicate a possible effect of forest disturbance on the insectivorous behavior of gorillas. The study suggests the existence of temporal variation in ant- and termite-eating by gorillas.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Centre for Research and Conservation, Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, Koningin Astridplein 26, B-2018 Antwerp, Belgium. University of Antwerp, Department of Biology, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk, Belgium 2: Centre for Research and Conservation, Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, Koningin Astridplein 26, B-2018 Antwerp, Belgium 3: University of Yaounde I, Faculty of Science, PO Box 812, Yaounde, Cameroon
Publication date: 2003-06-01