Multiple studies at a local scale on food items consumed by coexisting species are necessary to determine patterns of resource partitioning among phyllostomid bats. Here we report the food items consumed by 11 phyllostomid bats and the similarity among the diets of the six most abundant species in the Pantanal wetlands of Brazil. We identified food items from fecal samples collected from 347 bats captured between 2002 and 2007. Most individuals (76%) fed on fruits. Arthropods and pollen were present in 56% and 37% of the fecal samples, respectively. Fruits of Ficus species and Cecropia pachystachya were mainly consumed by Artibeus jamaicensis, Platyrrhinus lineatus and Glossophaga soricina, whereas Piper species were the main fruits consumed by Sturnira lilium and Carollia perspicillata. Bauhinia ungulata was the most common source of pollen consumed by ten bat species, including Chrotopterus auritus for which pollen consumption has never been described before. Lepidoptera occurred in higher frequencies than other arthropod orders among fecal samples, but Coleoptera was the most important order for the insectivorous Lophostoma silvicolum. Overall, phyllostomids in the Pantanal fed on a low diversity of fruit and pollen species, and representatives of arthropod orders, appearing to induce a more ‘omnivorous’ diet regarding food types (fruits, floral resources, and arthropods) with a high overlap of food sources.
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Vol. 14 • No. 1