Cambridge University

Cambridge database of natural spectra

Index of Spectra

An index of the spectra collected is provided below. Analyses of these spectra have been presented in the publications listed here. Please refer to them for methods of data collection, and discussion of categorisation of fruit ripeness and leaf age. All spectra are given at 4-nm intervals from 380 to 700 nm.

The chromaticities are given in standard CIE 1931 x,y coordinates for the reflectance spectra viewed under standard illuminant D65. "Lightness factor" gives the proportion of light reflected by the fruit surface weighted by Vlambda (the human photopic sensitivity function). Luminance of radiance spectra is given in candelas per square metre.

The text files are in tab-delimited text format, and may be best viewed in Excel or a similar spreadsheet program. Most browsers will allow you to view them directly without saving them on to your computer, but there may be some bad alignment of the tables depending on your tab spacings.

The summary tables are web pages containing species lists, chromaticities and links to photographs where available. Please see further notes at the bottom of this page.

Fruits eaten by primates

French Guiana:

Reflectance spectra (text file)
Summary table


Reflectance spectra (text file)
Summary table


French Guiana:

Reflectance spectra of mature foliage (text file)
In situ radiance spectra of mature foliage (text file)


Reflectance spectra of mature foliage (text file)
Reflectance spectra of young leaves eaten by primates (text file)
In situ radiance spectra of mature foliage in cloudy conditions (text file)
In situ radiance spectra of mature foliage in sunny conditions (text file)


In situ irradiance measurements from French Guiana (text file)
In situ irradiance measurements from Uganda (text file)

Primate pelage

Mandrillus Sphinx
Other primates measured at zoos in U.K. and Uganda
Pelts measured at the Natural History Museum, London

Futher notes: French Guiana

Information on the diets of Alouatta seniculus, Ateles paniscus and Cebus apella was taken from our own observations (Regan et al. 2000) and from earlier studies at the same field site: Julliot (1992), Zhang (1994) and Simmen & Sabatier (1996) (see references). Please also see our acknowledgments to the people and organisations who have made this work possible and who have helped in many ways. A summary of the fruit diets of the Guianan primates, and information about which fruits are disseminated and which are dispersed, may be found in this table.

Futher notes: Uganda

The primates studied were:

Pan troglodytes (chimpanzee), Pt,
Cercopithecus mitis (blue monkey), Cm,
Cercopithecus ascanius (red-tailed monkey), Ca,
Lophocebus albigena (grey-cheeked mangabey), La,
Colobus guereza (black and white colobus or guereza), Cg,
Colobus badius (red colobus), Cb.
(abbreviations are used in the fruit summary table listed above)

Dietary information was taken from the following sources: Baranga (1983), Barrett (1994), Chapman and Chapman (1996), Clutton-Brock (1975), Freeland (1979), Isabirye-Basuta (1989), Isbell (1983), Oates (1977), Olupot (1998), Olupot et al. (1998), Rudran (1978a,b), Struhsaker (1978a,b), Waser (1975, 1977, 1984), Wrangham et al. (1994).

The fruit samples listed as ripe would be eaten by the "frugivores" (the first four primates in the above list), whereas the colobines tend to eat unripe fruits. It is assumed that the frugivores disseminate most of the fruits they eat, but an extensive study of seeds found in dung has been carried out only for Pan troglodytes (Wrangham et al. 1994a). For more Ugandan dietary information, see fruit-diet summary table.

For more information concerning the folivorous diets of the Ugandan primates, see leaf-diet summary table.