Living on the ground. References Bat Conservation International. Bat Conservation International. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
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Leptonycteris curasoae Miller, Diagnosis Leptonycteris curasoae Fig. Length of the 3 phalanges of the 3rd finger of L. Pelage of L. Uropatagium is sparsely haired with a slight fringe, compared to the nearly naked uropatagium of L. In addition, L. Dentition is relatively heavy compared to L. Upper incisors lack a median gap, which is often present in L. Upper incisors are equally spaced in L. Upper toothrow of L.
Photograph of an adult Leptonycteris curasoae from Venezuela. Used with permission of the photographer, P. Soriano Fig. Soriano General Characters Leptonycteris curasoae is a medium-sized phyllostomid bat. Its ears are relatively small and broad. Adult pelage of L. Ventral surface is slightly paler. Ears and membranes are dark brown. Third molar is missing but lower incisors are usually present. Molars are elongate and slender with a faint W-pattern Hall Lower incisors may appear absent because of wear or they may be entirely lost Fig.
Open in new tab Download slide Dorsal, ventral, and lateral views of cranium and lateral view of mandible of an adult male Leptonycteris curasoae U. Greatest skull length is The seasonal disappearance of this species from Andean sites in Venezuela May—August suggests local migrations in northern South America Soriano et al.
Geographic distribution of Leptonycteris curasoae. Fossil Record No fossils of L. Form and Function Roosting in warm caves and mine shafts during the maternity period provides 2 metabolic benefits: young can divert more energy to growth and development and the daytime maintenance costs for females are low Arends et al.
The extrusible tongue is long with lengthened tongue papillae to facilitate nectar feeding Howell and Hodgkin ; Koopman These cactophilic bats are well adapted to exploit cactus nectar, pollen, and fruit as food sources Simmons and Wetterer In addition to wide wingspans, large wing areas, low aspect ratios, and high wing loading Norberg and Rayner , L. Ontogeny and Reproduction In northern Venezuela, females are seasonally monoestrous Martino et al.
Copulation occurred late during November—early December Martino et al. A pregnancy peak occurred in May and a lactation peak in June in northern Venezuela Martino et al. The highest frequency of juveniles was in July.
Lactation lasts ca. Ecology Leptonycteris curasoae lives in semiarid and arid habitats subject to annual fluctuations in temperature, rainfall, or both.
In northern Venezuela variations in temperature and photoperiod are slight; seasonal changes in this area are driven by rainfall Martino et al. In northern South America, L. Typically, L. Females gain several physiological benefits from roosting in warm, densely populated caves and mines, including lower energy expenditure during the day, reduced evaporative water loss, low thermoregulation costs, and increased growth rates of young Arends et al.
Suitable day roosts must be within foraging range of sufficient food resources. The diet of L. However, interspecific competition is low because L. Nectar, pollen, and fruit dominate the diet of L. Nectar and pollen form the bulk of the diet but some fruit Cactaceae, Myrtaceae, and Sapotaceae may be consumed, especially when females are lactating Fleming and Nassar Leptonycteris curasoae plays an important role in the pollination of Cactaceae and Agavaceae and in the dispersal of cactus seeds Nassar et al.
Columnar cacti are critical for the survival and reproduction of L. Only when Agave and Ceiba pentandra are flowering at the beginning of the dry season could L.
In northern Venezuela, the general diet composition is similar to that reported in other areas Martino et al. Pollen composition in the diet varies seasonally, related to the flowering pattern of the plants in the area. Females during lactation ingest more pollen and fruits to help supply nutritional i. In northern Venezuela, L. Leptonycteris curasoae lives up to 10 years Tuttle and Stevenson Barn owls Debrot et al.
Behavior Leptonycteris curasoae hangs from its large claws when resting. In caves with thousands of individuals, they are highly gregarious and roost in densely packed clusters. It sometimes hovers in front of an inflorescence Nassar et al.
Genetics Gene flow among populations of L. Identical haplotypes in L. Habitat destruction and the resulting decline or disappearance of plants, especially agave and columnar cacti that serve as nectar, pollen, and fruit sources, are important conservation concerns Petit The Biological Reserve of Piedra Honda Cave was created in to protect this important resting and maternity roost in northwestern Venezuela.
Remarks Miller named L. Koopman was the 1st to recognize curasoae, nivalis, and yerbabuenae as separate species. Although Pirlot described L. That arrangement was followed by Simmons Mitochondrial DNA suggests that the 3 Leptonycteris species shared a common ancestor ca.
Climatic events during the late Pliocene and Pleistocene, the uplift of the Mexican plateau in the late Pliocene, and the uplift and the formation of the Sierra Madre Mountains facilitated divergence. A temporary, arid or semiarid, dispersal corridor linking Mexico and northern South America during at least 1 Pleistocene glacial advance explains the range of L.
The distribution of columnar cacti may have influenced the evolution of L. Literature Cited.
Southern long-nosed bat