Preprint / Version 2

Synthesis of knowledge of the vegetal diet of nectar-feeding bats of Mexico (Phyllostomidae:Glossophaginae)


  • Sthepanie Ortega-García Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Romeo A. Saldaña-Vázquez Universidad Iberoamericana - Puebla



Chiroptera, Conservation, plant-animal interaction, Biogeography, research bias


Introduction: The interaction between bats and plants is key to the stability of ecosystems and economically important industries, such as tequila and mescal in Mexico. For these reasons, it’s important to determine the current state of knowledge of plant diet of nectar-feeding bats.  In this study, we did a systematic review of literature on plants that have been reported as food for nectar-feeding bats (subfamily Glossophaginae) of Mexico.  Based on this information, we identified bat species with the most complete knowledge of their diet, the most consumed plant genera, and the territories with information gaps for the country.  Materials and methods: The literature search of nectar-feeding bats diet was carried out in the Web of Science database, in Google Scholar and in digital collections of universities.  We constructed rarefaction curves for the richness of the bats' plant diet, a heat map of the genera consumed by species, as well a map of diet localities in the different biogeographic provinces of Mexico, to find out if knowledge of plant diet of bats was related to variables such as size of biogeographic province, presence of chiropterophilic plants or richness of nectar-feeding bats.  Results: The diet of nectar-feeding bats in Mexico was concentrated in the plant genera Agave spp., Pseudobombax spp. and Ceiba spp., which according to the literature provide food to more than 75 % of nectar-feeding bats that inhabit Mexican territory.  Leptonycteris yerbabuenae is the species with the most information on its plant diet in Mexico, while Lichonycteris obscura is the species with the least information.  Any species of bat reached a value greater than 65 % of the expected richness.  Localities where diet of nectar-feeding bats has been mainly studied in provinces corresponding to Neotropical region of the country.  Discussion and Conclusions: Knowledge about diet of nectar-feeding bats in Mexico is far from complete.  The distribution of diet localities is biased in a large part of its geographic distribution, and could be positive correlated with areas with higher bat species richness.


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04/20/2021 — Updated on 07/13/2022


How to Cite

Ortega-García, S., & Saldaña-Vázquez, R. A. (2022). Synthesis of knowledge of the vegetal diet of nectar-feeding bats of Mexico (Phyllostomidae:Glossophaginae). In SciELO Preprints. (Original work published 2021)


Biological Sciences