Genetic Evidence for Male and Female Dispersal in Wild Lemur catta Journal Article uri icon



  • Lemur catta has traditionally been considered a species with male-biased dispersal; however, occasional female dispersal occurs. Using molecular data, we evaluated dispersal patterns in 2 L. catta populations in southwestern Madagascar: Tsimanampesotse National Park (TNP) and Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR). We also investigated the genetic differentiation between the populations and dispersal partner relatedness. Results showed minor genetic differentiation between the populations (ϴST = 0.039), which may indicate gene flow historically occurring in this region, made possible by the presence of L. catta groups between the sites. Different patterns of sex-biased dispersal were found between the sites using corrected assignment indices: male-biased dispersal in TNP, and a lack of sex-biased dispersal in BMSR. Observational evidence of female dispersal in BMSR supports these results and may imply intense female resource competition in and around BMSR, because small groups of 2-3 females have been observed dispersing within BMSR and entering the reserve from outside. These dispersing groups largely consisted of mothers transferring with daughters, although we have an aunt-niece pair transferring together. Genetic data suggest that males also transfer with relatives. Our data demonstrate that dispersal partners consist of same-sexed kin for L. catta males and females, highlighting the importance of kin selection.

publication date

  • February 14, 2015

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • December 28, 2016 4:46 AM

Full Author List

  • Parga JA; Sauther ML; Cuozzo FP; Jacky IAY; Gould L; Sussman RW; Lawler RR; Pastorini J

author count

  • 8

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0015-5713

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1421-9980

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 66

end page

  • 75


  • 86


  • 1-2