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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 11, 2015

Opportunistic feeding by the little yellow-shouldered bat Sturnira lilium (Phyllostomidae, Stenodermatinae) in northern Guatemala: a comparative approach

  • Cristian Kraker-Castañeda EMAIL logo , José Octavio Cajas-Castillo and Salvador Lou
From the journal Mammalia


During simultaneous surveys in northern Guatemala, we studied the feeding habits of frugivorous bats. We found that Sturnira lilium, a bat specialized in Solanum, was quite abundant. Despite this bat’s fruit preference, we observed a geographical diet shift at the genus level towards Piper, which we assert as evidence of opportunistic feeding. For S. lilium, frequently consumed food items such as Solanum umbellatum and Piper aduncum are associated with early vegetation succession, whereas other small-sized sympatric species of the genus Carollia feed mainly on P. aeruginosibaccum and Vismia camparaguey, typical elements of more mature stages. Resource partitioning is an important mechanism for species coexistence and community structuring.


Research was supported by CONCYT/Guatemala (Project FODECYT 21/03), and DIGI/USCG (Project DIGI 2005/21). J.L. Echeverría and R. Ávila provided valuable field and laboratory work support. We are grateful for reviews by A. Santos-Moreno and H. York on early versions of the manuscript. We also want to thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.


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Received: 2014-9-22
Accepted: 2015-2-13
Published Online: 2015-3-11
Published in Print: 2016-5-1

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