Sebas shorttailed bat

Carollia perspicillata

SUBFAMILY

Carolliinae

TAXONOMY

Carollia perspicillata (Linnaeus, 1758), Suriname.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and body length 1.9-2.8 in (48-70 mm); tail 0.3-0.6 in (8-16 mm); forearm 1.6-1.8 in (41-45 mm); weight 0.5-0.9 oz (15-25 g); upper body dark brown with silvery wash, lower body lighter brown.

DISTRIBUTION

Southern Mexico to Paraguay and southern Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, and Grenada.

HABITAT

Tropical forests of all kinds, mostly in the lowlands. Roosts in many sites, including caves, hollow trees, mines, culverts, and abandoned houses.

BEHAVIOR

One of the most common bats in Latin America. Roosts contain dozens to a few thousand individuals. A relatively sedentary bat, but in western Costa Rica, females make seasonal altitudinal migrations.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Mostly a fruit-eater but also visits flowers opportunistically and eats insects. Individuals forage within about 1.2 mi (2 km) of their day roost. Harvests one fruit at a time and eats it in a sheltered night roost. Feeds selectively on fruits of understory shrubs (especially Piper and Vismia) and early successional trees.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Polyestrous; females give birth to a single young twice a year (March-April and July-August in Central America); gestation period is about four months. Degree of synchrony of births is relatively low within populations. Mating system involves harem-polygyny with single males defending groups of up to about 20 females. Most adult males in a roost are bachelors. Sexes usually do not segregate during the maternity period.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Thrives in disturbed habitats but is vulnerable to roost destruction.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Important seed disperser that helps to promote tropical forest regeneration resulting from natural or human disturbances. ♦

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