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Intimacy across species boundaries: interspecific allopreening between Spot-necked (Stachyris strialata) and Nonggang Babblers (S. nonggangensis)
  • Wenyi Zhou,
  • Zhuyang Zhang
Wenyi Zhou
University of Florida

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Zhuyang Zhang
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Allopreening occurs in many species of birds and is known for providing hygienic and social benefits. While this behavior has been studied between conspecifics, its occurrence among different species remains mysterious. Outside of captivity environment, only a few records of interspecific allopreening exist. In this study, we report the first documented record of a Spot-necked Babbler (Stachyris strialata) allopreening a Nonggang Babbler (Stachyris nonggangensis) in a non-captive environment in southern China. We provide three hypotheses (social dominance, cleaning mutualism, and hybridization) to explain the occurrence of this understudied behavior. We suggest that interspecific allopreening may not be as rare as we assumed if we are in the correct place to study it. This study contributes to our understanding of not only the potential mechanism(s) for interspecific allopreening but also the behavioral ecology of the vulnerable Nonggang Babbler.
24 May 2022Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
24 May 2022Submission Checks Completed
24 May 2022Assigned to Editor
30 May 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
12 Jun 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
20 Jun 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
14 Jul 20221st Revision Received
15 Jul 2022Submission Checks Completed
15 Jul 2022Assigned to Editor
15 Jul 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Jul 2022Editorial Decision: Accept
Aug 2022Published in Ecology and Evolution volume 12 issue 8. 10.1002/ece3.9195