Mate guarding is a male strategy to monopolize matings and thus to ensure paternity. Since in callitrichids female reproductive status is advertised by scent marks, one may expect mate guarding by chemical means. We addressed this question during an episode of consortship observed in a polyandrous trio of wild saddleback tamarins (Saguinus fuscicollis). During consortship, the consort male was the only one to allomark the female. Scent marking frequency decreased for all individuals, although the consort male marked more than the other male during consortship, while there was no difference in the previous period. During consortship, almost 50% of female scents were overmarked by the consort, and more than 56% of the consort’s scent marks were employed to overmark the female’s scents. Therefore, the other male had limited access to female scent marks. Mate guarding may thus have a chemical component in tamarins, and olfactory communication may play an important role in mating competition.

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