A stranger in the family? On the social behavior of a leucistic collared peccary (Pecari tajacu) with pigmented conspecifics
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Anomalous coloration is defined as the excess or deficit of pigmentation in some region(s) or throughout the entire body of an animal, and have been classified as piebalism, leucism, or albinism. The first record of anomalous coloration for the collared peccary (Pecari tajacu) was a leucistic cub captured in dense ombrophilous Atlantic Forest in the municipality of São José dos Pinhais, state of Paraná, southern Brazil, which was subsequently raised by residents until it was an adult. Collared peccarys’s behaviors are well documented in literature, but there is no published scientific information about the behavior of leucistic individuals. Here we report the second case of anomalous coloration of the collared peccary (P. tajacu) in Brazil and the Neotropical region, and comment on its social interaction with pigmented conspecifics. For a period of 27 months of monitoring, cameras trap captured 109 records (47 videos and 62 photos) distributed among 21 days. We retrieved 22 independent events from the records, of which 54.5% were of the leucistic collared peccary alone and 45.5% with it interacting with pigmented conspecifics. During interactions it displayed both affiliative and agonistic behaviors. Collared peccaries live in stable herds of five to 25 individuals, with temporary sub-herds of one to three individuals that forage separately for several hours during the day. Considering that animals with an absence of body pigmentation are more susceptible to predation, the survival of the leucistic collared peccary may be associated with its social interaction with pigmented conspecifics.
KeywordsAffiliative and agonistic behaviors Anomalous coloration Atlantic Forest Brazil Collared peccary Neotropical region
We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments on the manuscript. F. H. Oda receive postdoctoral fellowship from Fundação Cearense de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico – Funcap/Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento Pessoal de Nível Superior – CAPES (Grant Number 88887.162751/2018-00).
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