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versión On-line ISSN 2007-3364


ROJAS-MARTINEZ, Alberto et al. Frugivory diet of the lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae), in the Tehuacán Valley of central Mexico. Therya [online]. 2012, vol.3, n.3, pp.371-380. ISSN 2007-3364.

The lesser long nosed bat Leptonycteris yerbabuenae (Phyllostomidae: Glossophaginae), is a migratory species highly specialized for nectar and pollen consumption. Although they can consume fruits of columnar cactus (Family Cactaceae, tribes Pachicereeae and Cereeae), this habit has not been studied sufficiently to know the importance of this frugivory. Available information shows that this bat can consume actively fruit of columnar cactus, and indeed seven of these fruits have been cited as part of their diet in North America. Nevertheless, it is unknown whether other cactus fruits are edible for them. In Tehuacán Valley, located in south central México L. yerababuenae co-occur with 21 species of cactus that produce sweet, juicy and soft fruits, with small seeds appropriate to be eaten by the long-nosed bat. We conducted one study to determine the identity of cacti fruits eaten by L. yerababuenae, through the identification of seeds deposited as guano and obtained in the Obispo cave (municipality of Santiago Chazumba, Oaxaca). Seeds of all species of cactus that inhabit Tehuacan Valley were identificated in guano. We recollected 31,895 seeds inside the cave, but more than the 84% corresponded to four species of cacti seeds: Isolatocereus dumortieri, Stenocereus pruinosus, Stenocereus stellatus and Neobuxbaumia macrocephala. The species Escontria chiotilla, Pachicereus hollianus, Hilocereus undatus, Pachicereus fulviceps and Stenocereus treleasei, were rare and they had less than 20 seeds in the sample. So results obtained suggest that L. yerababuenae, may eat fruits as an important part of its diet, and probably serves as an important disperser of columnar cactus in dry environments of South Central Mexico.

Palabras llave : Obispo cave; cactus fruits; Leptonycteris yerbabuenae; cactus fruit resources.

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