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Feeding Habits of Leptonycteris curasoae in Northern Venezuela

Angela M. G. Martino, Jaime O. Aranguren and Alexis Arends
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 47, No. 1 (Mar., 2002), pp. 78-85
DOI: 10.2307/3672804
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3672804
Page Count: 8
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Feeding Habits of Leptonycteris curasoae in Northern Venezuela
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Abstract

Aspects of the feeding ecology of Leptonycteris curasoae in Northern Venezuela were studied through analysis of pollen collected from fur and feces. Cactaceae and Bombacaceae (100%) were the most frequently found pollen in feces, followed by Caricaceae (66.7%) and Agavaceae (22.2%). No significant differences were found between the frequency of occurrence of pollen collected from fur and that present in feces. Pollen-diet composition showed highly significant differences among seasons but not between sexes. During the year no significant differences between sexes were found in the frequency of occurrence of seeds and pollen in the feces, but when analysis was restricted to April through July, the period of late pregnancy and lactation, there were significant differences between sexes and between females in different reproductive conditions. Breeding females, specially during lactation, apparently ingest more fruits to supply their particular nutritional and energetic requirements. Differences in pollen frequency observed in the diet during the year seem related to flowering pattern of the plant families present in the study area. /// A través del análisis de las heces y del polen adherido a la piel se estudiaron algunos aspectos de la ecología nutricional de Leptonycteris curasoae, quiróptero presente en la zona norte de Venezuela. El polen más frecuentemente encontrado en las heces fue de Cactácea y Bombacáceae (100%), seguido del de Caricáceae (66.7%) y Agaváceae (22.2%). No se encontraron diferencias significativas entre el porcentaje de frecuencia de aparición del polen colectado en la piel con respecto al presente en las heces. La composición del polen en la dieta presentó diferencias significativas entre los meses del año, pero no entre los sexos. A lo largo del año tampoco se encontraron diferencias significativas en la frecuencia de aparición de semillas y polen en las heces entre los sexos, pero cuando este análisis se limitó al período abril-julio, lapso en el cual las hembras se encuentran finalizando el período de gestación y se ocupan de la lactancia, se encontraron diferencias significativas entre los sexos y entre las diferentes condiciones reproductivas de las hembras. Las hembras en período reproductivo, especialmente durante la lactancia, aparentamente ingieren más frutos para cumplir con sus requerimientos nutricionales y energéticos. Las diferencias encontradas en la frecuencia del polen en la dieta a lo largo del año parecen estar relacionadas con el patrón de floración de las diferentes familias de plantas presentes en la zona de estudio.

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