We examined genetic diversity of howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) from Costa Rica. Blood samples of howler monkeys were collected at various locations in Costa Rica, and electrophoresis of total plasma proteins yielded no variation. We also conducted starch gel electrophoresis of red cell isozymes and did not find variation for any of the 14 loci analyzed (i.e., ACP, ADA, CA2, EST, GPI, IDH, LDH-1, LDH-2, MDH, PGD, PGM-1, PGM-2, SOD, and TPI). These findings were compared with the levels of genetic variation for A. seniculus and A. belzebul from one Brazilian population. Four of the 14 isozymes (ADA, GPI, PGD, and SOD) showed more than one allele for these species. Both A. seniculus and A. belzebul from Brazil showed similar levels of genetic variation. The potential causes of the low genetic variation in A. palliata from Costa Rica are discussed.
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