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Preprint / Version 1

Diet knowledge of the nectarivorous bats of Mexico: concentrated in few species and tropical biogeographic provinces


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



Chiroptera, Conservation, Glossophagini, Macroecology, Nectar


Introduction:The biological interaction between bats and plants is key for the stability of ecosystems and for the survival of the human being, who has generated economically important industries through it, such as the production of tequila and mezcal in Mexico.  For this reason, it is important to determine the current state of knowledge of the diet of nectar-feeding bats, with which we can establish the species of bats with the highest number of reported interactions, the plant species with which they interact and the biogeographic provinces where they do so.  The present study aimed to carry out a systematic review of the literature on the plants that have been reported as food for nectar-feeding bats species that inhabit the different biogeographic provinces of Mexico. Materials and methods: The literature search was carried out in Web of Science database and Google Scholar search engine, in order to obtain both scientific publications indexed by Clarivate Analytics, as well as gray literature.  With the information collected, we built rarefaction curves of richness of the diet of bats, as well as a map that show the localities of different biogeographic provinces where they have been reported.  Results:  The diet of nectarivorous bats in Mexico is concentrated in the genera Agave spp., Ceiba spp. andPseudobombax spp.  These plants provide food for more than 75% of the species of nectar-feeding bats in Mexico.  Leptonycteris yerbabuenae is the species with the most information on its diet, while Lynchonycteris obscura is the species with the least information on its diet in Mexico.  Furthermore, no species of bat has a record greater than 40% of expected richness.  On the other hand, the localities where the diet of these bats has been studied in Mexico are concentrated in the next biogeographic provinces: Veracruzana, the southern part of the Lowlands of the Pacific, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, Cuenca del Balsas and Sierra Madre del Sur.  Discussion and Conclusions:  We can conclude that knowledge about the diet of nectar-feeding bats in Mexico is biased towards the most common genera of plants and bats with a greater geographic distribution.  Likewise, knowledge of the diet of bats is far from complete in Mexico, due to the fact that biogeographic provinces with greater diversity of cacti and succulents have been little studied.


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How to Cite

Saldaña-Vázquez, R. A., & Ortega-García, S. (2021). Diet knowledge of the nectarivorous bats of Mexico: concentrated in few species and tropical biogeographic provinces. In SciELO Preprints.


Biological Sciences