Topic 3: Toward Understanding the Role of Diet in Host–Parasite Interactions: The Case for Japanese Macaques

  • Andrew J. J. MacIntosh
  • Michael A. Huffman
Part of the Primatology Monographs book series (PrimMono, volume 0)


Central to understanding animal ecology are interactions between consumers and the consumed, whether predator–prey, herbivore–plant, or mycophage–mushroom. A wealth of information exists describing just such relationships (Stephens and Krebs 1986; Stephens et al. 2007). The first systematic and naturalistic study of primates (Alouatta palliata: Carpenter 1934) reported a partial list of items consumed by howler monkeys. Since then, countless food lists have been compiled for all groups of primates (for examples, see Richard 1985, table 5.1, pp 164–165). For example, we now have a detailed picture of the diversity of items consumed by Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) across Japan, from the southern limit of their range on Yakushima Island (Maruhashi 1980; Agetsuma 1995a,b; Hill 1997; Yumoto et al. 1998; Domingo-Roura and Yamagiwa 1999; Hanya et al. 2003; Hanya 2004; Tarnaud and Yamagiwa 2008; MacIntosh, unpublished data) through their northern limit on the Shimokita Peninsula (Izawa and Nishida 1963; Suzuki 1965; Nakagawa et al. 1996; Nakayama and Matsuoka 1998; Nakayama et al. 1999; see also Chap. 5). Although such lists are important, taken alone they are uninformative from a bioenergetics perspective (Nakagawa et al. 1996). Although complementary work examining the nutritional and energetic qualities of food items with respect to metabolic requirements has been and is being undertaken in Japan (Iwamoto 1974, 1982, 1988; Nakagawa 1989a,b, 1997a; Yokota 1989; Soumah and Yokota 1991; Nakayama et al. 1999; Wakibara et al. 2001; Hanya et al. 2007; Tsuji et al. 2008; see also Chaps. 5 and 14), primate nutritional ecology remains in its infancy (Robbins and Hohmann 2006).


Species Richness Parasitic Infection Japanese Macaque Howler Monkey Nutritional Ecology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Charmalie Nahallage and Sachi Sri Kanta for their contribution to the development of the Japanese macaque diet and antiparasitic item database. Their efforts were instrumental in getting this project off the ground. We also thank Jean-Baptiste Leca, Annemarie MacIntosh, Hideki Sugiura, and Naofumi Nakagawa for their most helpful comments and suggestions regarding earlier versions of this manuscript. A.J.J.M. thanks Fumihiro Kanou, Takaaki Kaneko, and especially Kanako MacIntosh for assistance in translating Japanese texts. A.J.J.M.’s doctoral research is financially supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Systems Evolution Section, Department of Ecology and Social Behavior, Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityInuyamaJapan

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