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A new feeding association between black-goggled tanagers (Tachyphoninae) and black lion tamarins (Primates, Callitrichinae)

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Insectivorous-frugivorous birds have been described to benefit from multiple forms of interspecific feeding associations. Here we present quantitative data on a new feeding association between the black-goggled tanager (Trichothraupis melanops) and an endangered frugivorous-faunivorous neotropical primate, the black lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysopygus), at an Atlantic Forest remnant in São Paulo state, Brazil. Using scan data from full day follows with a group of lion tamarins, we investigated if the behaviors displayed by the primates influenced the presence, behavior, and proximity of the tanagers. We observed the black-goggled tanagers to activelly follow the primates during the day, always positioned below the primates, and to capture insects flushed by the lion tamarins’ foraging activities. We found that black-goggled tanagers associated significatively more with black lion tamarins in the early hours of the day (i.e., from 6:00 to 8:59 a.m.) and when the primates were feeding/foraging. We found no evidence that the black lion tamarin benefits or incurs costs from associating with the tanagers, suggesting a new record of commensalism.

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We thank Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), and National Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS, Belgium) for research fellowships and financial support to this study.


FB is curently a Ph.D. scholarchip holder from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq, 443489/2020-3), and during the development of this study received a Ms.C. scholarship from CNPq (133172/2018-0). OK receives a fellowship from the National Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS, Belgium). RGA reseaved a fellowship from Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP, 2019/11102-5) and currently is a scholarship holder from Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES). This research was financed by a Young Investigator grant from FAPESP given to LC (#2014/14739-0).

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FB, RGA, OK, and LC designed the study and investigated the data; RGA and OK performed fieldwork; FB analyzed the data; FB wrote the original draft; and all authors contributed to the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Felipe Bufalo.

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Permits for this project were granted by Instituto Chico Mendes da Conservação da Biodiversidade (SISBIO, #65113, #68253) and by the Comitê de Ética no Uso Animal–IB, UNESP, Rio Claro (CEUA, #6581).

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Communicated by Cristiano Azevedo (Associate Editor)

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Bufalo, F., Amaral, R.G., Kaisin, O. et al. A new feeding association between black-goggled tanagers (Tachyphoninae) and black lion tamarins (Primates, Callitrichinae). Ornithol. Res. 30, 216–220 (2022).

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