Articles | Volume 4, issue 1
Short communication
26 Jun 2017
Short communication |  | 26 Jun 2017

Fur-rubbing with Piper leaves in the San Martín titi monkey, Callicebus oenanthe

Rosario Huashuayo-Llamocca and Eckhard W. Heymann

Abstract. We report observations on fur-rubbing with leaves from Piper aduncum by a San Martín titi monkey, Callicebus oenanthe. Fur-rubbing occurred during the transition from the dry to the rainy season in a titi monkey group living in a forest fragment in the Moyobamba region of Peru. Since Piper leaves include very potent compounds that may affect ectoparasites, we tentatively interpret the observed fur-rubbing as self-medication.

Short summary
We report observations fur-rubbing with leaves from the spiked pepper plant, Piper aduncum, in the San Martín titi monkey, Callicebus oenanthe. As leaf extracts from this plant include insecticidal compounds, we interpret this behaviour as a defense against ectoparasites. Our observations expand the number of primate species for which this kind of self-medication is reported.