Complex copulatory patterns, involving multiple brief intromissions or prolonged single intromissions (PI) occur most frequently among primate species in which females mate with a number of partners (multimale and dispersed mating systems). However, the PI pattern is also confined almost exclusively to arboreal primates – to either smaller-bodied, cryptic, nocturnal species or much larger diurnal forms. Predation pressures may have limited the evolution of the PI pattern, particularly where small-bodied diurnal primates or terrestrial forms are concerned. The available evidence indicates that both sexual selection and natural selection may have influenced the evolution of copulatory patterns.

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