Artibeus planirostris (Spix, 1823)

Don E. Wilson & Russell A. Mittermeier, 2019, Phyllostomidae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 9 Bats, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 444-583 : 576

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Artibeus planirostris


198. View Plate 44: Phyllostomidae

Flat-faced Fruit-eating Bat

Artibeus planirostris

French: Artibée commune / German: Flachgesicht-Fruchtvampir / Spanish: Artibeo comun

Other common names: Flat-headed Fruit-eating Bat, Spix’s Artibeus

Taxonomy. Phyllostoma planirostre Spix, 1823 ,

“suburbiis Bahiae.” Identified by C. T. de Carvalho in 1965 as Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

Artibeus planirostris 1s in subgenus Artibeus . Along with other similar taxa, such as A. schwartzi , and A. aequatorialis , it was formerly identified as a subspecies of the very variable A. jamaicensis , but it is now considered a full species based on phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences and morphological studies. Several names have been linked to A. planirostris ; trinitatis and grenadensiswere considered the same entity and listed under A. jamaicensis , but they are related to A. planirostris based on molecular and dental characters. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution.




A. p. hercules Rehn, 1902 — SE Colombia and E lowlands of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.

A. p. trinatatis K. Andersen, 1906 — inter-Andean valleys of Colombia, N Venezuela (including Margarita I), and Trinidad and Tobago Is. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head-body 75-97 mm (tailless), ear 20-25 mm, hindfoot 13-19 mm, forearm 64-70 mm; weight 40-69 g; greatest length of skull 29-2-32-7 mm for subspecies hercules. Head-body 67-84 mm (tailless), ear 18-24 mm, hindfoot 12-18 mm, forearm 54-62 mm; weight 43-59 g; greatest length of skull 26-8-29-4 mm for trinitatis. Sexual dimorphism, with males larger than females, was evidenced in north-eastern Brazil. The Flatfaced Fruit-eating Bat is medium-sized, with extensive size variation through its distribution. This variation has been used as criteria for distinguishing taxonomic subdivisions, with hercules being the largest and trinitatis the smallest. Fur is ashy brown to pale brown and varies among subspecies; hairs have white bases but never silvery or whitish tips. Ventral fur is slightly paler (grayer) and appears frosted. Facial stripes are present and white but not too broad or contrasting as in Great Fruit-eating Bat (A. lituratus ). Ears are broad and pale brownish. Horseshoe of noseleafis free, and chin has central wart surrounded by smaller ones. Base of forearm is sparsely haired, neverfully furred. Wing membranes are dark brown, with white tips, and relatively less extension of dorsal or ventral body fur on sides. Uropatagium is narrow and unfurred. Skull is short and robust; preorbital and postorbital processes are moderately developed (no development of rostral shield). Dental formula is I 2 /2, Cl/1,P2/2,M 3/3 (x2) = 32. M? is rarely absent.

Habitat. Tropical and pre-montane rainforests, tropical deciduous forests, cerrado and caatinga formations, Yungas forests, seasonally dry forests, and human modified landscapes, such as agricultural and fruit tree crops, or even urban areas, from sea level to elevations of ¢. 2000 m. Most of the distribution of the Flatfaced Fruit-eating Bat covers the Amazon Basin and related lowland habitats; subspecies trinitatis and grenadensis favor drier habitats and also evergreen forests.

Food and Feeding. The Flat-faced Fruit-eating Bat is a fruit generalist and prefers figs. It eats fruits of canopy trees and, less commonly, flowers, leaves, and insects. In cerrado habitats, fruits of Vismia sp. ( Hypericaceae ) were found to be the predominant in the diet. Nevertheless, figs ( Ficus spp., Moraceae ) of several species are probably the most important food consumed,in terms of quantity and because of their general year-round availability. Individuals were captured in October in north-eastern Brazil with their fur stained yellow from pollen of Anacardium occidentale ( Anacardiaceae ). Although diet is mainly fruit, some individuals eat arthropods, including Coleoptera (beetles), Diptera , Hymenoptera (worker ants, Formicidae ), and mites (Acari).

Breeding. Pregnant Flat-faced Fruit-eating Bats have been found in February in southeastern Colombia, January-February and August in Brazil, February-April in southern Venezuela, March in Guyana, November in Ecuador, and September—November in Peru. A peak of births of subspecies grenadensis occurred in March—-May. Pregnant females also were found in most months of the year in caatinga and cerrado habitats in north-eastern Brazil; often, both pregnant and lactating females were found, suggesting postpartum estrus and seasonal polyestry. Clearly, these periods might change (from one month to the next) with local variations in climate, photoperiod, or availability of food, resulting in ill-defined annual reproductive periods in some regions (like south-eastern Brazil). Female have one young per pregnancy (twins are extremely rare).

Activity patterns. The Flat-faced Fruit-eating Bat is active throughout the night. It probably forages similar to its congeners, moving in groups to selected feeding areas where fruits are available. It roosts in trees and has been captured close to several fruit-bearing trees including Ficus spp. ( Moraceae ), Inga marginata ( Fabaceae ), and Pourouma cecropiaefolia ( Urticaceae ). It also was captured just above the water of a narrow river in transitional woodland of Argentina. Sixteen individuals roosted together under a frond of a coconut palm in Suriname. It was collected in a house at Santa Cruz, Bolivia. From available data, it seems like foliage roosting is most typical, taking advantage of denser vegetation in multistratal humid forests.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. No information.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Least Concern on The IUCN Red List. The Flatfaced Fruit-eating Bat has a wide distribution, occurs in various habitats, and seems to be abundant.

Bibliography. Andersen (1906b, 1908c), Ascorra et al. (1996), Carvalho (1965), Davis (1970b), Genoways et al. (1998), Handley (1987), Hershkovitz (1949), Hollis (2005), Jones (1989), Koepcke & Kraft (1984), Koopman (1978), Kunz & Diaz (1995), Larsen, Hoofer et al. (2007), Larsen, Marchan-Rivadeneira & Baker (2010b, 2013), Lim (1997), Lim, Engstrom, Lee et al. (2004), Marques-Aguiar (2008a), Phillips et al. (1991), Pumo et al. (1996), Redondo et al. (2008), Simmons (2005), Spix (1823).














Artibeus planirostris

Don E. Wilson & Russell A. Mittermeier 2019

Phyllostoma planirostre

Spix 1823