The big free-tailed bat, Nyctinomops macrotis (Gray, 1839), in Central America

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The big free-tailed bat, Nyctinomops macrotis, is a large molossid with a discontinuous distribution in the southwestern United States and most of Mexico (northern range), and northern South America (southern range). In addition, the species has been documented in the Caribbean in Cuba (type locality), Hispaniola, and Jamaica. A large gap in the species distribution existed from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (Mexico) southward to southeast of the Darién Gap, between Panama and Colombia, an overland distance of some 2500 km. Here we report the first records of the species for Central America, based on two recently collected specimens from the southern highlands of Honduras.


El murciélago grande de cola libre, Nyctinomops macrotis (Gray, 1839), en Centro América. Nyctinomops macrotis es una especie grande de molósido cuya amplia distribución en las Américas es notablemente discontinua. Por una parte, está distribuido en el suroeste de Estados Unidos y la mayor parte de México (área de distribución norte); por otra, se encuentra distribuido en Suramérica (área de distribución sur). Asimismo ha sido registrado en el Caribe en Cuba (localidad tipo), La Española y Jamaica. Sin embargo, existe un gran vacío en la distribución geográfica de la especie, pues hasta el momento no se ha encontrado entre el Istmo de Tehuantepec (México) y el sureste del Tapón de Darién, entre Panamá y Colombia: una distancia por tierra de cerca de 2500 km. En este trabajo proporcionamos los primeros registros de la especie para Centroamérica, con base en dos especímenes colectados recientemente de la región montañosa del sur de Honduras.

New records of Lampronycteris brachyotis in Brazil

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Lampronycteris is a monotypic genus distributed throughout the Neotropical region. Brazil presents the largest number of reports of L. brachyotis, most of which occur within Amazonia, with only limited records in Cerrado and Atlantic Forest. The present report provides an updated distribution of L. brachyotis in these three biomes, including the first records for the states of Rondônia and Goiás and additional records in the states of Mato Grosso, Pará and São Paulo. We highlight that mesic areas in open formations such as Cerrado might support relictual populations of L. brachyotis, highlighting the importance of these areas for bat diversity.


Nuevos registros de Lampronycteris brachyotis en Brasil. Lampronycteris es un género monotípico de amplia distribución en la región neotropical. Brasil tiene el mayor número de registros de L. brachyotis concentrados en la Amazonía y solo unos pocos registros en el Cerrado y Bosque Atlántico. Este artículo ofrece una actualización de la distribución de L. brachyotis en estos tres biomas, con el primer registro en Rondônia y Goiás, y registros adicionales en los estados de Mato Grosso, Pará y São Paulo. Con los registros presentados aquí, destacamos que los ambientes mésicos presentes en bosque estacional seco, como el Cerrado, pueden mantener poblaciones relictuales de L. brachyotis, destacando la importancia de estas áreas para la diversidad de murciélagos.

Vaginal smears: a key source of information on the estrous cycle of Neotropical bats

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The use of vaginal smears for the study of the reproductive patterns of Neotropical bats has not been employed using a standardized protocol. We developed and evaluated a protocol, based on this technique, for the identification of the estrous cycle in an assemblage of bats in the Caribbean region of Colombia. The protocol for vaginal smears in bats was performed in three phases: 1) sampling in the field, 2) staining of vaginal smears, and 3) vaginal cell counts. Vaginal smears were taken and external reproductive characteristics were determined in the field. The results of these two data sets were compared for estimation of estrous status. Significant differences were detected between the proportions of different types of vaginal cells found in the smear samples. Overall, 95% of the females characterized as reproductively inactive based on external traits were found to be reproductively active according to vaginal smear characteristics; the remaining percentage of inactive reproductive cases coincided with the information obtained from vaginal smear technique. The use of the vaginal smear protocol allows the accurate determination and quantification of the reproductive status of individuals and populations of Neotropical bats. We conclude that this protocol offers a standardized method for the collection of individual reproductive status information in Neotropical bats.


Citologías vaginales: una fuente clave de información del ciclo estral en murciélagos neotropicales. El uso de citologías vaginales para el estudio de los fenómenos reproductivos de los murciélagos neotropicales no ha sido implementado bajo un protocolo estandarizado. Evaluamos e implementamos un protocolo de citologías vaginales, con el objetivo de probar su eficacia para la identificación del ciclo estral de un ensamblaje de murciélagos en el Caribe colombiano. El protocolo para realizar citologías vaginales en murciélagos neotropicales se dividió en tres fases: 1) toma de muestras en campo, 2) coloración de citologías vaginales y 3) conteo de células vaginales. La prueba se realizó bajo condiciones de campo, registrando los caracteres externos reproductivos tradicionales, los cuales se confrontaron con los resultados de las citologías vaginales. Se encontraron diferencias significativas entre la proporción de los diferentes tipos de células contadas en las láminas de las citologías vaginales. El 95% de las hembras caracterizadas como inactivas mediante el registro de caracteres externos se encontraban en algún estado reproductivo de acuerdo a las citologías vaginales; el porcentaje restante de hembras caracterizadas como inactivas también presentó inactividad reproductiva según las citologías vaginales. El uso de este nuevo protocolo de caracterización reproductiva permite describir y cuantificar con mayor exactitud la actividad reproductiva, tanto individual como poblacional, de los murciélagos neotropicales. Por otra parte, sugiere una manera de estandarizar la toma de datos reproductivos a futuro.

Ectoparasites associated with bats in northeastern Tolima, Colombia

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This study reports data on the prevalence and mean intensity of ectoparasites associated with bats in northeastern Tolima, Colombia. We captured 140 bats representing 21 species and 5 families. Most individuals represented the Phyllostomidae (84%), and Carollia perspicillata was the most frequently captured species (35%). Parasites were found in 14 of these species (66%), 8 of which (29.28%) were parasitized by Streblidae, 6 (14.28%) by Spinturnicidae, 5 (9.28%) by Macronyssidae, and 5 (7.85%) by Argasidae. Ectoparasites represented 5 families and 24 species; the most abundant was Trichobius joblingi (16.85%), followed by Radffordiella desmodi (11.04%). This research represents the first report on ectoparasites of bats in northern Tolima (Colombia).


Ectoparásitos asociados con murciélagos en el noreste de Tolima, Colombia. El presente estudio registra los ectoparásitos asociados a murciélagos en el noreste del Tolima, Colombia, con datos sobre su prevalencia e intensidad promedio. Se capturaron 140 murciélagos distribuidos en 5 familias y 21 especies, siendo la familia Phyllostomidae la más abundante (84%), y la especie de mayor frecuencia Carollia perspicillata (35%). De las especies de murciélagos colectadas, 14 (66%) se hallaron parasitadas; 8 de estas (29.28%) fueron parasitadas por la familia Streblidae, 6 (14.28%) por Spinturnicidae, 5 (9.28%) por Macronyssidae y 5 especies (7.85%) parasitadas por Argasidae. Cinco familias y 24 especies de ectoparásitos fueron encontradas, de las cuales Trichobius joblingi fue la más abundante (16.85%) seguida por Radffordiella desmodi (11.04%). Esta investigación representa el primer reporte sobre las especies de ectoparásitos de murciélagos del norte del Tolima (Colombia).

Consumo de plantas pioneras por murciélagos frugívoros en una localidad de la Orinoquía colombiana

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El comportamiento alimentario cumple un papel principal en la estrategia de partición de recursos dentro de los ensambles de murciélagos frugívoros. A pesar de que Colombia es uno de los países con mayor riqueza de este grupo de fauna, la influencia de la fenología de los recursos consumidos sobre las dietas de las especies en los ensambles locales aún está pobremente estudiada. En este trabajo analizamos la estructura trófica de un ensamble de murciélagos frugívoros en una localidad de la Orinoquía colombiana y evaluamos su relación con los patrones de fructificación de cuatro especies de árboles (Cecropia peltata, C. sciadophylla, Ficus schultesii y F. gomelleira) y dos especies de arbustos (Piper arboreum y P. obliquum), los cuales constituyen elementos dietarios focales en la dieta de murciélagos frugívoros neotropicales. El análisis de 191 registros dietarios de 20 especies muestra que la estratificación vertical constituye el principal mecanismo en la estrategia de partición de recursos del ensamble de murciélagos frugívoros estudiado. Este mecanismo es independiente de los patrones de fructificación de las plantas evaluadas. Los murciélagos centraron su dieta en plantas con patrones de fructificación continuos y distribuciones espacialmente homogéneas. Por lo tanto, el uso de categorías de forrajeo basadas en la preferencia de plantas con diferentes estrategias de fructificación no explica los patrones de consumo encontrados en el ensamble estudiado.


Pioneer plants consumption by bats in one locality from Colombian Orinoco. Feeding behavior plays a major role as a resource partitioning strategy within assemblages of fruit bats. Although Colombia is one of the most diverse countries in terms of bat diversity, the influence of phenology of consumed resources on bat diets in local ensembles is still poorly known. In this study, we analyze trophic structure of a fruit bat assemblage in a locality of Colombian Orinoco, and we evaluate its relationship with fruiting patterns of four tree species (Cecropia peltata, C. sciadophylla, Ficus schultesii, and F. gomelleira) and two shrub species (Piper arboreum and P. obliquum), all of them representing focal dietary resources of Neotropical fruit bats. The analysis of 191 dietary records of 20 species shows that vertical stratification constitutes the main mechanism for resource partitioning among the studied bat ensemble. This mechanism is independent of the fructification patterns of the evaluated plants. Bats fed mainly on plants with continuous fructification patterns and spatially homogeneous distributions. Therefore, categories based on the preference of plants with different fructification strategies do not explain the consumption patterns of the studied ensemble.

Assembleia de morcegos em remanescente de Floresta Ombrófila Mista no planalto de Guarapuava, Paraná, Brasil

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A Mata Atlântica é um dos ecossistemas mais ameaçados e ricos do mundo, contando com cerca de 113 espécies de morcegos. O objetivo do presente estudo foi caracterizar a assembléia de morcegos de um remanescente de Floresta Ombrófila Mista a 1100 metros de altitude, no planalto de Guarapuava, estado do Paraná, Brasil. Os morcegos foram capturados com dez redes de neblina instaladas acima do solo em 24 noites de amostragem durante 12 meses. Um total de 160 capturas de 144 indivíduos foi realizado, sendo estes distribuídos em dez espécies, com a família Vespertilionidae sendo a mais representativa. A riqueza estimada (Chao2) foi de 12.75 ± 4.14 espécies. Sturnira lilium e Molossus molossus foram as espécies mais abundantes, com 36 capturas cada. Os morcegos insetívoros dominaram a assembléia tanto em número de espécies quanto em número de indivíduos capturados. Sugerimos que essa assembléia possa ser caracterizada como uma fauna tipicamente subtropical de altitude e pode ser relacionada aos ambientes de Floresta Ombrófila Mista, em especial acima dos 1000 metros de altitude.


Bat assemblage in a remnant of Araucaria Pine Forest at Guarapuava Highlands, Paraná State, Brazil. The Atlantic Forest is one of the most rich and threatened ecosystems in the world, and has about 113 bat species. The aim of this study was to characterize the bat assemblage in a remnant of Araucaria Pine Forest at 1100 meters of altitude, at Guarapuava Highlands, Paraná State, Brazil. Bats were caught with ten mist nets installed above ground in 24 night sampling distributed in 12 months. A total of 160 catches of 144 individuals was performed, these being allotted to ten species, the Vespertilionidae family being the most represented. The estimated richness (Chao2) was 12.75 ± 4.14 species. Sturnira lilium and Molossus molossus were the most abundant species with 36 catches to each. The insectivore bats dominate the assemblage both in number of species and number of individuals captured. We suggest that this assemblage can be characterized as a typical subtropical highland fauna and be related to environments of Araucaria Pine Forest, especially above 1000 meters of altitude.

Structure of a bat assemblage from a fragmented landscape in the state of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil

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Minas Gerais presents the richest bat fauna among the states of southeastern Brazil. Despite its high diversity, the bat fauna in large areas of the state remain poorly or completely unknown due to its wide territorial area, as well as the complexity of its relief and vegetation. This work aimed to study the bat fauna in fragments of a region in Lavras, Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil, as well as the dynamic of their species. The study was carried out in a highly fragmented landscape area, composed by relatively small fragments of semi-deciduous forest under distinct levels of human disturbances. Forty nights of sampling were conducted with a total capture effort of 43,200 m²/h. Fourteen species were recorded, out of which 10 were in the family Phyllostomidae, 3 in Vespertilionidae and 1 in Molossidae. It is important to highlight the presence of Chiroderma doriae, a species classified as threatened in Brazil, and Molossops neglectus, a rare molossid bat that needs taxonomic review.


Estructura de un emsamble de murciélagos en un paisaje fragmentado del estado de Minas Gerais, sudeste de Brasil. El estado de Minas Gerais es el estado más rico del sudeste de Brasil en cuanto a número de especies de murciélagos. A pesar de esta gran diversidad, grandes áreas del estado continúan siendo poco o completamente desconocidas en lo respectivo a los quirópteros, debido a la amplitud de su área territorial, al relieve y a la complejidad de la vegetación. El presente trabajo tuvo como objetivo estudiar los murciélagos en fragmentos de la región de Lavras, Minas Gerais, sudeste de Brasil, así como la dinámica de sus especies. El estudio se llevó a cabo en una zona de paisaje altamente fragmentado, compuesta por pequeños fragmentos de bosque semideciduo y en distintos niveles de antropización. Se realizaron muestreos durante 40 noches, con un esfuerzo de captura total de 43.200 m²/h. Catorce especies fueron registradas, de las cuales 10 correspondieron a la familia Phyllostomidae, 3 a Vespertilionidae y 1 a Molossidae. Es importante destacar la presencia de Chiroderma doriae, una especie clasificada como amenazada en Brasil y Molossops neglectus, un molósido muy raro que necesita de revisión taxonómica.

Diferentes métodos de regeneração florestal podem interferir na comunidade local de morcegos?

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Em regiões tropicais, onde interações entre animais e plantas são muito comuns, a efetividade das técnicas de restauração ambiental depende dos animais presentes na área e disponíveis para dispersão de frutas ou sementes. Desta forma, o monitoramento da fauna é um bom indicador do processo de regeneração da mata. Nosso objetivo foi verificar se áreas regeneradas por diferentes métodos na ARIE Morro da Vargem, Ibiraçu, Espírito Santo, apresentam diferenças na riqueza e na composição de espécies e de guildas tróficas de morcegos. Foram realizadas 29 noites de coleta (julho de 2006 a julho 2007), sendo 6 noites de captura na Mata (fragmento florestal), 6 noites no Camará (regeneração com intervenção), 8 no Bosque (regeneração com intervenção) e 9 na Capoeira (regeneração natural). Foram obtidas 564 capturas e 26 espécies. A riqueza estimada foi maior para o Bosque e Camará do que para a Capoeira e a Mata. As áreas não são diferentes com relação à composição de espécies e de guildas tróficas de morcegos. A menor riqueza de espécies na área de Mata pode ser explicada por esta ser um fragmento florestal restrito ao topo de um morro. Já no Bosque as diferentes espécies vegetais plantadas podem fornecer recursos para os morcegos em boa parte do ano. A extensa área de vida das espécies de morcegos e a proximidade entre as áreas comparadas podem ser algumas explicações para a similaridade da composição de espécies e de guildas entre as áreas amostradas.


Can forest regeneration methods affect local bat communities? In tropical regions, where plant-animal interactions are widespread, the effectiveness of environmental restoration techniques is dependent on the animal species present and available for fruit and seed dispersal. Therefore, monitoring the local fauna can be a good indicator of the forest regeneration process. Our goal in this study was to verify whether areas reforested by different regeneration methods in Morro da Vargem, municipality of Ibiraçu in the state of Espírito Santo, Southeastern Brazil, present differences in bat species richness and composition, and in bat trophic guild number. We carried out 29 capture nights, between July 2006 and July 2007, being 6 nights in the Mata area (a pristine forest fragment), 6 nights in the Camará area (regeneration with some level of human intervention), 8 nights in the Bosque area (regeneration with some level of human intervention), and 9 nights in the Capoeira area (natural regeneration). We obtained 564 captures with 26 species. The estimated richness was greater in Bosque and Camará areas than in Capoeira and Mata. We found no differences between areas regarding species composition and trophic guilds. The lower species richness in the Mata area can be explained by its location, on a hilltop. On the other hand, the exotic plant species found in the Bosque area may provide resources year-round. The large home range of bat species and the proximity of the studied areas could explain the species composition and trophic guild similarity between the areas.

Bat assemblages at a high-altitude area in the Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil

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Most Brazilian landscapes lie below 600 m above sea level and studies on the rich Brazilian bat fauna at higher altitudes are scarce. In this study, we investigated bat assemblages associated with different habitats in Chapada do Abanador, Minas Gerais, an area with altitudes ranging from 1000 to 1580 m. Forty-five nights of sampling (153000 m2/h) were performed in semideciduous montane forest, cloud forest and campo de altitude. A total of 137 individuals were captured, belonging to 12 species of the families Phyllostomidae and Vespertilionidae, with a large dominance of the former. Species-accumulation curves reached values close to the asymptote for the campo de altitude and cloud forest habitats, but not for montane forest, suggesting that more species may be added by extending the sampling effort in this habitat. A non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis indicated no strong separation between sampled habitats. Higher abundances of Desmodus rotundus and Histiotus velatus in the campo de altitude were observed, with the latter being exclusively recorded in this habitat. Moreover, a higher abundance of frugivores was observed in forested habitats, while hematophagous, insectivores and nectarivores were more abundant in the campo de altitude. Although presenting lower species richness when compared with environments below 1000 m, the campos de altitude and cloud forests are ecologically important and poorly protected portions of the Atlantic Forest in Minas Gerais, whose biodiversity must be preserved. Our data contributes with a better description of the local fauna and fills gaps on the species distribution for high altitude sites in Brazil.


Assembléia de morcegos em uma área de elevada altitude na Floresta Atlântica do sudeste do Brasil. Grande parte das paisagens brasileiras se encontra abaixo dos 600 m de altitude e os estudos sobre a rica fauna de morcegos brasileiros em elevadas altitudes são escassos. Nesse estudo, investigamos a assembleia de morcegos associada a diferentes habitats na Chapada do Abanador, Minas Gerais, cuja altitude varia de 1000 a 1580 m. Foram conduzidas 45 noites de amostragem (153000 m2/h) na floresta semidecidual montana, floresta nebular e campo de altitude. Foram capturados 137 indivíduos pertencentes a 12 espécies das famílias Phyllostomidae e Vespertilionidae, com grande predominância da primeira. Curvas de acumulação de espécies alcançaram valores próximos à assíntota para o campo de altitude e floresta nebular, mas não para a floresta montana, sugerindo que mais espécies seriam adicionadas com o aumento do esforço amostral nesse habitat. A análise de escalonamento multidimensional não-métrico não indicou forte separação entre os habitats. Entretanto, foi observada uma maior abundância de Desmodus rotundus e Histiotus velatus no campo de altitude, sendo a última exclusiva desse habitat. Além disso, foi observada uma maior abundância de frugívoros nos habitats florestados, enquanto hematófagos e insetívoros foram mais abundantes no campo de altitude. Embora apresentem menor riqueza de espécies quando comparados com ambientes abaixo de 1000 m, os campos de altitude e as florestas nebulares constituem porções ecologicamente importantes e pouco protegidas da Floresta Atlântica em Minas Gerais, cuja biodiversidade deve ser preservada. Nossos dados contribuem com uma melhor descrição da fauna local e preenche lacunas na distribuição de espécies para locais de elevada altitude no Brasil.

Riqueza de especies y actividad relativa de murciélagos insectívoros aéreos en una selva tropical y pastizales en Oaxaca, México

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Se estudió estacionalmente la riqueza de especies y actividad relativa de murciélagos insectívoros aéreos en hábitats ribereños de una selva tropical y pastizales en Oaxaca, sureste de México. La detección se realizó con el sistema Anabat™ SD1, se emplearon 96 horas de grabación y 1656 archivos efectivos. Se identificaron 9 especies y 4 sonotipos, pertenecientes a 4 familias: 2 de Mormoopidae (Pteronotus davyi y P. parnellii), 3 de Emballonuridae (Saccopteryx bilineata, Balantiopteryx io y B. plicata), 5 de Vespertilionidae (Eptesicus furinalis, Lasiurus blosevillii, L. ega y 2 Myotis) y 3 de Molossidae (Molossus rufus, Eumops sp. y 1 sonotipo). Por medio de un modelo asintótico de acumulación de especies se estimó una riqueza > 90% en ambos hábitats y épocas (seca y lluviosa) a las 3 horas de grabación. No se observó superposición de los intervalos de confianza para la riqueza estimada entre hábitats. En la selva se registraron 8 especies durante la época seca y 7 en época lluviosa. En los pastizales se registraron 13 especies en ambas épocas. La diferencia de actividad relativa entre la selva y los pastizales no fue estadísticamente significativa, aunque hubo tendencia al aumento en ambos hábitats durante la época seca. En la selva, en época seca, la actividad relativa general presentó correlación positiva con la temperatura promedio y negativa con la humedad relativa. En época seca, en ambos hábitats, la actividad relativa general reflejó una relación positiva con la disponibilidad de alimento. Los sistemas ribereños y su vegetación asociada en zonas bajo fuerte influencia antropogénica son presumiblemente factores de importancia para la resiliencia de este grupo de mamíferos. A medida que avanza la frontera agropecuaria en la región es necesario considerar el manejo local de este tipo de hábitats, debido a su potencial función como corredores entre fragmentos y la selva continua.


Aerial insectivorous bats species richness and relative activity in a tropical forest and pastures in Oaxaca, Mexico. We seasonally evaluated species richness and relative activity of aerial insectivorous bats along riparian habitats in a tropical forest and pastures in Oaxaca, southeastern Mexico. We used an Anabat™ SD1, 96 hours of recordings and 1656 effective sound files. We identified 9 species and 4 sonotypes, belonging to 4 families: 2 of Mormoopidae (Pteronotus parnellii and P. davyi), 3 of Emballonuridae (Saccopteryx bilineata, Balantiopteryx io and B. plicata), 5 of Vespertilionidae (Eptesicus furinalis, Lasiurus blosevillii, L. ega and 2 Myotis) and 3 of Molossidae (Molossus rufus, Eumops sp. and 1 sonotype). In both habitats and seasons (dry and wet) we reached over 90% of the estimated richness by an asymptotic accumulation model after three hours of recording. Confidence intervals did not overlap around the estimated richness between habitats. In the forest we registered 8 species in the dry season and 7 in the wet season. In the pastures in both seasons we registered 13 species. All species present in forests were detected in grasslands, and differences in relative activity did not show statistical significance. The general relative activity in both habitats had the tendency to increase during the dry season. In forests, during the dry season, the general relative activity was correlated positively with mean temperature and negatively with relative humidity. During the dry season, in both habitats, we observed a significant and positive relationship of general relative activity and food availability. Riparian systems and associated vegetation immerse in areas under high anthropogenic pressure seem to be an important resource for the resilience of aerial insectivorous bats. It is necessary to consider local management of this kind of habitats, because of their potential role as corridors between fragments and continuous forest.