The singing behaviour of 3 pairs of white-cheeked gibbons (Nomascus leucogenys) held at the Perth Zoo was observed for 6 months in 2005. These groups included a family (mated pair and 2 immature offspring) and a pair without offspring. During the study, the female without offspring was exchanged for an unpaired female from New Zealand. After the new pair had been released onto the island enclosure and began to duet, the duetting rate of the white-cheeked gibbon family increased. The increased singing began after the new female had started to sing solo female great calls. These observations support the hypothesis that duets have an intergroup communication function in white-cheeked gibbons. The pair that duetted most frequently also copulated most frequently but allogroomed the least. We suggest that duetting may be more important to intergroup relations than to pair bond maintenance in this species.

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