Dwarf little fruit bat

Rhinophylla pumilio

SUBFAMILY

Carolliinae

TAXONOMY

Rhinophylla pumilio Peters, 1865, Bahia, Brazil.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and body length 1.7-1.9 in (43-48 mm); forearm 1.1-1.5 in (29-37mm); weight 0.3-0.4 oz (8-10 g); upper body grayish brown, lower body paler brown.

DISTRIBUTION

Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia to the Guianas and eastern Brazil.

HABITAT

Lowland tropical forests. Roosts in abandoned tents made by stenodermatine bats. Much less common than species of Carol-lia when they occur together.

BEHAVIOR

A sedentary bat that lives in small groups (fewer than 10) in forest understory tents formed from the leaves of a variety of plants (Heliconia, Philodendron, and palms). Group-foraging ranges are small (24.7-37 acres; 10-15 ha). Males may defend these areas from the intrusions of other males.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Mostly frugivorous but, unlike species of Carollia, does not feed on fruits of Piper shrubs; instead eats fruits of epiphytes (Macgravia and Philodendron).

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Probably polyestrous, but not yet studied in detail. Mating system likely involves harem-polygyny with a single adult male and two to three females and their young living in stable social units in tents. These groups remain together when they change tent locations.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened, though, because of their specialized roosting behavior, they are vulnerable to habitat destruction.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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