Jamaican fig-eating bat
|Jamaican fig-eating bat|
The Jamaican fig-eating bat (Ariteus flavescens) is a species of bat in the family Phyllostomidae. It is the only living species in the genus Ariteus. The scientific name translates as "yellowish and warlike". There are no recognised subspecies.
Jamaican fig-eating bats are relatively small, with a total length of 5 to 7 centimetres (2.0 to 2.8 in) as adults. Females are noticeably larger than males, weighing an average of 13 grams (0.46 oz), compared with 11 grams (0.39 oz) for males. They have short, broad, wings, and no discernible tail. They have a large and prominent nose-leaf, with a unique twisting shape that allows them to be distinguished from all other species of bat. The fur is reddish brown over most of the body, fading to a paler shade on the underside. The only markings are white patches on each shoulder. Apart from the shape of the nose-leaf, and a smaller overall size, they are said to closely resemble the tree bats of the Antilles.
The bats are endemic to the island of Jamaica where they inhabit primary and secondary forest throughout the island, as well as banana and coconut plantations and agricultural land. They have also been identified in disturbed habitats, indicating a degree of adaptability to different environments, and justifying their current status as a species of Least Concern. The fossil record of the species extends back to the late Pleistocene.
Jamaican fig-eating bats are not thought to inhabit caves. They are nocturnal and omnivorous, feeding on both fruits and insects. Favoured fruits include the native naseberries and introduced rose apples.
- Dávalos, L., Arroyo-Cabrales, J., Miller, B., Reid, F., Cuarón, A.D. & de Grammont, P.C. (2008). "Ariteus flavescens". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
- Sherwin, R.E. & Gannon, W.L. (2005). "Ariteus flavescens". Mammalian Species: Number 787: pp. 1–3. doi:10.1644/787.1.
- Howe, H.F. (1974). "Additional records of Phyllonycteris aphylla and Ariteus flavescens from Jamaica". Journal of Mammalogy 55 (3): 662–663. doi:10.2307/1379558.
- Williams, E.E. (1952). "Additional notes of fossil and subfossil bats from Jamaica". Journal of Mammalogy 33 (2): 171–179. doi:10.2307/1375925.
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