I had a rough idea of a species that has a tendency to blackmail other species into feeding it. The concept was a tree-dwelling species, a larger one that has few predators among the trees to worry about, that will harass a stronger land-based species into feeding it by threatening to help a predator find it otherwise. For now call this tree species a 'monkey' just to avoid pronoun confusion below, though I'm not committed to it looking or behaving exactly as a monkey.
These 'monkeys' prey on at least one smaller land based predator that relies heavily on camouflage, for example a lynx or other smaller feline. Call this species a 'cat', though again it doesn't have to be feline in nature.
When the 'cat' secures a kill the monkey will show up at a lower branch and effectively demand the cat offer it a small amount of meat from its kill. If the cat doesn't provide the monkey a bribe the monkey will follow it from above and make a constant call that a predator will be attracted to. Effectively the monkey will help larger land predators to find, stalk, and kill the cat unless/until the cat bribes the monkey to go away with food.
In this scenario the monkey is a threat because it can follow the cat anywhere and the cat's camouflage doesn't work as well against a birds eye view as it does against land predators. Thus a species that usually survives by hiding from its predators now has something giving away its presence to those predators. The cat could potentially still get away from the monkey before a predator reaches it if it moves fast enough to out pace the monkey, but the cat usually has excess meat after a kill (it can't eat all of its prey at once) and is more likely to sacrifice some of that excess to the monkey then risk the monkey trying to get it killed. The monkey feels safe to draw this attention because nothing on the ground is a threat to it while it is in the trees, and it doesn't have larger tree-based predators it's afraid of drawing the attention of.
I'm wondering if this could evolve and work on a partially instinctual level. That is to say none of these species is sapient or capable of advanced reasoning skills, though some of the behaviors could be taught by parents it should still be mostly habitual by now. Blackmail is simply an instinctual part of the monkeys means of collecting food, and the cat simply knows that if he doesn't feed the monkey something bad will happen when it shows up, without the monkey having to explain it's threat...
I'm wondering if such a species could exist in the wild, and if so how it would evolve in the first place (there is a chicken and the egg problem with such complex behaviors becoming habitual, how do each of the three species, monkey, cat, and larger predator, evolve a habitual understand of what the monkey is doing well enough to play its part?)
My current thought is that originally the monkey evolved a symbiotic relationship with the larger predator, to help it find and secure kills, in exchange for getting first dibs on the predator's 'left-overs'. Eventually the cats, having evolved a fear of monkeys due to their bringing predators to attack them, evolved the instinct to 'bribe' the monkey to shut it up. The monkey got his food at less cost then chasing the cat around waiting for a predator to kill it, and so accepts the bribe, and eventually food from bribes became their primary source rather then food after helping the predator secure a kill. Still, I'm not sure if this can be an evolutionary stable dynamic?