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1 June 2011 Reproductive Seasonality of Fruit-Eating Bats in Northwestern Yucatan, Mexico
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Abstract
In the tropics, rainfall seasonality seems to be the most important factor affecting bat reproductive cycles, triggering reproductive activity or by its indirect affect on the availability of food resources. Considering this, we studied the reproductive phenology of three phyllostomid fruit-eating bats (Artibeus jamaicensis, Dermanura phaeotis and A. intermedius) in a markedly seasonal coastal wetland in northwestern Yucatan Peninsula. Bats were sampled with mist nets during a consecutive 3-year period in 16 naturally formed forest islands and we assessed the reproductive condition of captured bats during the dry and rainy seasons. Sampling effort of 196 nights (11,100 net-hours), resulted in the capture of 738 individuals of A. jamaicensis (40%), D. phaeotis (32%), and A. intermedius (28%). At least 91% of the males captured showed reproductive evidence (males with testes descended) for the three species throughout the year. For D. phaeotis and A. intermedius we detected seasonal changes in reproductive activity of females associated with rainfall seasonality. In these two bat species a higher abundance of pregnant females during the dry season and presence of lactating females in both seasons indicated a seasonal polyoestry pattern (with an emphasis of pregnancy and births in the dry and early rainy season, respectively). In the case of A. jamaicensis, a similar abundance of reproductive females (pregnant or lactating) between seasons suggested the existence of an aseasonal polyoestry pattern for this species. Fruit availability in the study area might influence the reproductive patterns observed for the three bat species.
© Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS
Salvador Montiel, Alejandro Estrada and Perla Leon "Reproductive Seasonality of Fruit-Eating Bats in Northwestern Yucatan, Mexico," Acta Chiropterologica 13(1), (1 June 2011). https://doi.org/10.3161/150811011X578688
Received: 15 June 2010; Accepted: 1 November 2010; Published: 1 June 2011
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