Parasites of wild howlers (Alouatta spp.)

Journal Article

A literature review of howler parasites provides the basis for an overview of the ecological significance of parasite surveys in primates. Within this framework, we have added insights into the interactions between primate hosts and their parasites from a long-term study in Costa Rica. We collected fecal samples from mantled howlers (Alouatta palliata) over a 9-year period (19861994 inclusive) and analyzed them for parasite eggs, larvae, cysts, and oocysts. We found many misperceptions inherent in the typical methodology of primate parasite surveys and in the reporting of the findings. Our work in Costa Rica suggests that a snapshot effect occurs with most surveys. A static view does not reflect the dynamic and changing ecological interaction between host and parasite. We describe some problems with parasite data analyses that emphasize the need for long-term longitudinal surveys in wild primate groups.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Stuart, M; Pendergast, V; Rumfelt, S; Pierberg, S; Greenspan, L; Glander, K; Clarke, M

Published Date

  • January 1, 1998

Published In

  • International Journal of Primatology

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 493 - 512