Paternity success of high-ranking primate males is affected by the number of males and the number of fertile females and their cycle synchrony. Female vervets in the wild show strong reproductive seasonality and do not advertise the ovulatory period with conspicuous signals or behavior. Because this makes it difficult for males to monopolize fertile females, it can be expected that male reproductive skew in this species is lower than in other cercopithecines living in multimale groups that advertise the ovulatory period. We assessed male reproductive success in a captive
vervet group, initially consisting of 4 males and 12 unrelated females. Besides a general low reproductive skew, we predicted paternity success of the alpha males to
be dependent on the overlap of synchronously fertile females, month into alpha male tenure, and housing conditions (the subjects were kept in a large park but had to be locked in a small indoor compartment during the winter months). Further, because the number of males reaching their prime increased over time, we predicted a
decrease in reproductive success of the alpha male with increasing tenure length of the alpha male.