Ultrasonic Vocalizations by the Spectral Tarsier, Tarsius spectrum. Academic Article uri icon


  • Although the vocalizations of spectral tarsiers have been studied for over 3 decades by numerous primatologists, the data in this paper represent the first evidence that this species communicates in the ultrasonic range. In addition, this paper characterizes the types of ultrasonic vocalizations by spectral tarsiers, Tarsius spectrum. Data were collected at Tangkoko Nature Reserve in Sulawesi, Indonesia, from January through April 2013. Recordings were made on a Wildlife Acoustics Ultrasonic Song Meter BAT2 from 10 groups of varying sizes and compositions. The ultrasonic recorder was placed at the base of the group's sleeping tree and recorded from 5.00 to 7.00 h using an omnidirectional microphone. The ultrasonic vocalizations fell into 5 main categories: chirps, twitters, choruses, doubles and whistles. Chirps were the most frequent ultrasonic vocalizations, followed by twitters, choruses, doubles and then whistles. While chirps, twitters and choruses extended from the audible to the ultrasonic range, the doubles and whistles were pure ultrasound. Currently, the function of these ultrasonic vocalizations is not yet clear and requires additional research.

published proceedings

  • Folia Primatol (Basel)

altmetric score

  • 8

author list (cited authors)

  • Gursky, S.

citation count

  • 50

complete list of authors

  • Gursky, Sharon

publication date

  • February 2015