This review summarizes information on the behavioural ecology of mixed-species troops (interspecific associations) formed by different species of callitrichines, small New World monkeys, in western and central Amazonia. The formation of mixed-species troops is an integral part of the biology of several species of this subfamily. Niche separation between associated species is obtained through vertical segregation which results in differences in the prey spectrum. The degree of niche separation is a predictor for the stability of mixed-species troops. Individuals may benefit from the formation of mixed-species troops through increased safety from predators, increased foraging efficiency, and/or increased resource defence. Costs of mixed-species troop formation are probably very low and mainly relate to patterns of interspecific behavioural interactions. We point to gaps in our knowledge and suggest pathways for future research into mixed-species troops.
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