Two adjacent troops of talapoin monkeys were studied near Mbalmayo, Cameroon, during a predicted 3-month breeding season. Mating continued for just over 2 months. One troop began to mate at least 2 weeks before the other, suggesting that, though climatic changes were probably important, precise timing was mediated through some intra-troop social facilitation effect.
Before the breeding season, adult males and females lived in separate sub-groups. Males began to move into female sub-groups before there was any sign of the perineal swellings characteristic of receptive talapoin females. Copulation occurred only with females with medium or large swellings, except towards the end of the season. It is probable that the majority of females were monoestrous. At the height of the mating period, females joined mainly male sub-groups, leaving their infants with the mainly female groups which also included a few males. Copulations were observed in both these types of sub-groups. Consort behaviour was not observed, males frequently returning to all-male sub-groups immediately after ejaculation. Intersexual grooming was not characteristic of sexual interactions. At the end of the season, adults were seen more frequently in groups of their own sex or with juveniles only, and there was some indication that increased aggressiveness by newly pregnant females might be partly responsible for this separation.