Auriane Le Floch

Research interest

The vocal behaviour of the lesser spot-nosed monkey (Cercopithecus petaurista) and its interaction with the Campbell’s monkey (Cercopithecus campbelli).

I am generally interested in animal alarm calls, vocalizations used to warn conspecifics about danger. Many species of primate, including the Diana monkey (Cercopithecus diana)  (Zuberbühler, 2000) and Campbell’s monkey (Ouattara et al., 2009), emit specific vocalizations according to the type of danger present: for example, different alarm calls are produced to warn conspecifics about a predator, a falling tree or another group of monkeys. My masters project will focus on the alarm calls in the lesser spot nosed monkey (Cercopithecus petaurista).

Some preliminary studies suggest that male lesser spot nosed monkeys display a basic phonologic syntax to their vocal behavior. Extraordinarily, this is often achieved when interacting with the vocal behaviour of another primate species, the Campbell’s monkey (Cercopithecus campbelli). The males of these two species appear to utter their calls as duets, in both alarm and non-alarm situations. The main goal of my study is to describe the syntax of this interspecific vocal behaviour and to understand its function. I will collect data and perform playback experiments to compare the vocal behavior of lesser spot-nosed monkeys when in the proximity of conspecifics to when they are in close proximity to Campbell’s monkeys.The study will be conducted in the Taï National Park (Ivory Coast) between July and December 2017.

References :
Ouattara, K., Zuberbühler, K., N'goran, E. K., Gombert, J. E., & Lemasson, A. (2009). The alarm call system of female Campbell's monkeys. Animal Behaviour, 78(1), 35-44.
Zuberbühler, K. (2000). Referential labelling in diana monkeys. Animal Behaviour 59(5), 917-927.




Auriane le Floch


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Université de Neuchâtel
Institut de Biologie
Cognition Comparée
Rue Emile-Argand 11
2000 Neuchâtel