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This paper provides a checklist and summary of what is currently known of the variation in infant contact, sleeping site preference and aspects of social cohesion in the nocturnal primates of Africa. Genera and species are compared, based on previously unpublished field observations and a review of the literature. There is a clear pattern of similarity between the species within each genus and distinct differences between genera. Species in the same genus tend to be ecologically equivalent and replace each other allopatrically, whereas species in different genera are more likely to be sympatric, with up to 6 species living together. Maximum sympatry within genera is found in Otolemur and Galagoİdes, where species are ecologically divergent. This may reflect an ancient origin of species within these genera or suggest that further taxonomic revision is required at the generic level. Some data are recorded for the first time for species that have only recently been separated (cryptic species), but some taxa remain very poorly known. It is concluded that field studies are still at an elementary stage and further research with radio tracking is urgently needed in the face of rapidly declining habitats.

In: Folia Primatologica

Describing primate biodiversity is one of the main goals in primatology. Species are the fundamental unit of study in phylogeny, behaviour, ecology and conservation. Identifying species boundaries is particularly challenging for nocturnal taxa where only subtle morphological variation is present. Traditionally, vocal signals have been used to identify species within nocturnal primates: species-specific signals often play a critical role in mate recognition, and they can restrict gene flow with other species. However, little research has been conducted to test whether different “acoustic forms” also represent genetically distinct species. Here, we investigate species boundaries between two putative highly cryptic species of Eastern dwarf galagos (Paragalago cocosand P. zanzibaricus). We combined vocal and genetic data: molecular data included the complete mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (1,140 bp) for 50 samples across 11 localities in Kenya and Tanzania, while vocal data comprised 221 vocalisations recorded across 8 localities. Acoustic analyses showed a high level of correct assignation to the putative species (approx. 90%), while genetic analyses identified two separate clades at the mitochondrial level. We conclude that P. cocos and P. zanzibaricus represent two valid cryptic species that probably underwent speciation in the Late Pliocene while fragmented in isolated populations in the eastern forests.

In: Folia Primatologica