Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Primate Behavior and Ecology

Publication Date



Male nonhuman primate sexual interference, which includes copulation interruption and copulation harassment, has been related to reproductive success, but its significance has been challenging to test. Copulation interruption results in the termination of a copulation before ejaculation, whereas copulation harassment does not. We conducted this study using the all-occurrence behavior sampling method on sexual interference behaviors of seven adult and four subadult male Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) in mating and non-mating seasons at Mt. Huangshan, China, from August 2016 to May 2017. Our results showed that males’ individual proportion of copulation interruption and harassment was higher during the mating season than during the non-mating season. In addition, dominant males more often performed interruption, whereas subordinate males more often performed harassment. We found no difference in the individual proportion of copulation interruption or harassment between adult and subadult males. Adult and subadult males both directed copulation interruption and harassment more often toward the mating male than toward the mating female. Lastly, the post-ejaculation phase of copulation was shorter when copulation harassment occurred than when it did not. Our results suggest that sexual interference may be an important mating tactic that adult and subadult males use in male–male sexual competition.


This article was originally published Open Access in Animals. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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