Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Morfología del murciélago y la especificidad de los polinizadores en un bosque nublado Neotropical


Kiva Rice



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Publication Date

November 2001


This study explores the degree of specialization of nectarivorous bat species and the plants they visit by examining pollen loads. The bat species involved are Anoura geoffroyi, Glossophaga commissarisi, and Hylonycteris underwoodi, all of which feed on nectar and are found in the cloud forests of Monteverde. Five nights were spent mist-netting and pollen samples were taken from the head, fore-body and back of each individual caught. These were placed on slides that were observed under a microscope and pollen morphospecies were counted. Twenty-two pollen morphospecies were found and a few were identified. A 1-way ANOVA test was conducted to compare the mean pollen species richness for each bat species. No significant differences were found (F = 0.243, P = 0.785, DF = 2,33). A cumulative catch curve determined that sampling was nearly exhaustive. A Sorenson index of similarity was conducted to compare the pollen species found on each bat species. Pollen morphospecies overlap was found to be similar between all bat species (A. geoffroyi vs. G. commissarisi = 0.615, A. geoffroyi vs. H. underwoodi = 0.583, G. commissarisi vs. H. underwoodi = 0.545). A few plant species were only visited by species with long snouts, suggesting specialization beyond the general syndromes of glossophagine bats and bat flowers in the Neotropics.


Este estudio explora el nivel de especialización de especies de murciélagos que toman néctar y las plantas que visitan al examinar las cantidades y clases de polen. Las especies que están involucradas son Anoura geoffroyi, Glossophaga commissarisi, y Hylonycteris underwoodi. Todas estas especies se alimentan de néctar y se pueden encontrar en los bosques nubosos de Monteverde. Durante cinco noches capturamos murciélagos y se colectaron muestras de polen de la cabeza, el pecho y la espalda de cada individuo que fue capturado. Las muestras de polen fueron puestos en portaobjetos de vidrio para observarlos en un microscopio compuesto para contar las especies de polen. Veinte y dos morfo especies de polen fueron encontrados y algunos de estos fueron identificados. Un ANOVA de una vía se llevó a cabo para comparar el promedio de la riqueza de especies de polen por especie de murciélago. No hubo ninguna diferencia significativa (F = 0.243, P = 0.785, DF = 2,33). Una curva acumulativa de capturas determinó que los muestreos fueron tomados exhaustivamente. Un índice de Sorenson de Similaridad comparó las especies de polen en cada especie de murciélago (A. geoffroyi vs. G. commissarisi = 0.615, A. geoffroyi vs. H. underwoodi = 0.583, G. commissarisi vs. H. underwoodi = 0.545). Algunas de las especies de plantas solamente fueron visitadas por especies de murciélagos con hocicos largos, así se sugiere una especialización más allá de los síndromes generales de murciélagos glossophagine y las flores de murciélagos en los Neotropicos.


Bats, Pollination by animals, CIEE Fall 2001

Palabras claves

Murciélagos, Polinizado por animales, CIEE Otoño 2001


10 pages

Geographic Location

Monteverde (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Bat morphology and pollinator specificity in a Neotropical cloud forest



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