Brachyphylla nana, G. S. Miller, 1902

Don E. Wilson & Russell A. Mittermeier, 2019, Phyllostomidae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 9 Bats, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 444-583 : 515-516

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Brachyphylla nana


58. View Plate 37: Phyllostomidae

Cuban Fruit-eating Bat

Brachyphylla nana

French: Brachyphylle de Cuba / German: Kleiner Antillen-Fruchtvampir / Spanish: Bracofilo de Cuba

Other common names: Antillean Nectar Bat

Taxonomy. Brachyphylla nana G. S. Miller, 1902 ,

“El Guama [Pinar del Rio], Cuba.”

Brachyphylla nana is considered a subspecies of B. cavernarum by some authors. Brachyphylla pumilia , named by G. S. Miller, Jr. in 1918,is a synonym. Monotypic.

Distribution. Cuba (including Isla de la Juventud), Caicos Is (Middle Caicos), Hispaniola (including Gonave I), and Grand Cayman I. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head-body 76-90 mm (tailless), ear 14-18 mm, hindfoot 13-20 mm, forearm 54-64 mm; weight 27-41 The Cuban Fruit-eating Bat is fairly large and boisterous. Snoutis short, with dermic folds rather than proper noseleaf, giving the appearance of a pig snout. Small but conspicuous wart 1s 4-6 mm from corner of mouth. Ears are clearly separate over the head. Uropatagium is greatly reduced, and calcar is 1-2 mm. Fur is short and rather thick. Dorsal hairs are 6-8 mm, with whitish, cream, or yellow bases and brown tips Ventral hairs are 4-6 mm and grayish. Chromosomal complement has 2n = 32 and FN = 60, with four pairs of metacentric autosomes and eleven pairs of submetacentric autosomes. X-chromosome is submetacentric, and Y-chromosome is minute acrocentric Testes are 5-9 mm.




Habitat. Xeric and mesic forests.

Food and Feeding. The Cuban Fruiteating Bat is omnivorous and feeds mostly on nectar and pollen. Eighty-five stomach samples in Cuba contained 68:2% pollen, 51-8% insects, and 1-2% small seeds; in captivity, it readily eats bananas. Insects found included Dictyoptera, Coleoptera , Diptera , Lepidoptera , and lepidopteran caterpillars. All insects identified in stomach samples were likely found in flowers. Pollen from species of Cactaceae , Mimosaceae , Cesalpinaceae, Sapindaceae , Bignoniaceae , and Palmaceae has been found in stomachs. The Cuban Fruit-eating Bat had higher nutritional extraction efficiency from pollen than the frugivorous Jamaican Fruiteating Bat (Artibeusjamaicensis).

Breeding. Information on breeding comes mostly from Cuban populations; data on reproduction of a few individuals from Middle Caicos and Hispaniola parallel the information from Cuba. Females are monoestrous and give birth to one young. Pregnancy has been reported in December-May but maximally in February-April. Lactation occurs in May-August. Females will carry their young in day roosts.

Activity patterns. The Cuban Fruit-eating Bat is nocturnal and departs from roosts later than all other bat species. It is also one of the first species to return to roosts before sunrise. Individuals go in and out of caves throughout the night, with no discernible peak in activity. Many individuals use night roosts in caves near their day roosts. It has been reported to roost exclusively in caves, usually in tepid areas (c.26°C).

Movements, Home range and Social organization. Colonies in Cuba can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of individuals. Given that some colonies are so large and they use night roosts,it is suggested that many individuals disperse over long distances to forage. In Middle Caicos, colonies appear to number less than 100 individuals, which could be the result of differences in resource availability between the two islands. Generalized promiscuous copulation was observed in Cuba in November. Females will segregate from males during the breeding season either in the same cave chamber or in parts of the cave not used during non-breeding seasons.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Least Concern on The IUCNRed List. The Cuban Fruit-eating Bat is widely distributed and common.It is extinct in Jamaica, where only Pleistocene or subrecent fossil records have been found, and locally extinct in the Bahamas. It occurs in protected areas.

Bibliography. Davalos & Mancina (2008b), Genoways et al. (2005), Mancina et al. (2005), Miller (1918), Rodriguez-Duran & Christenson (2012), Silva-Taboada (1979), Simmons (2005), Swanepoel & Genoways (1983b Timm & Genoways (2003).














Brachyphylla nana

Don E. Wilson & Russell A. Mittermeier 2019

Brachyphylla nana

G. S. Miller 1902