Rhinophylla pumilio Peters, 1865

Simmons, Nancy B. & Voss, Robert S., 1998, The mammals of Paracou, French Guiana, a Neotropical lowland rainforest fauna. Part 1, Bats, Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 237, pp. 1-219 : 95-96

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Rhinophylla pumilio Peters


Rhinophylla pumilio Peters

VOUCHER MATERIAL: 25 females (AMNH *266168, *266171, *266178, *266184, *266186, *266188, *266189, *266193, *266196, *266198, *267159, *267456, *267457, *267458, *267459, *267971; MNHN *1998.623, *1998.624, *1998.625, *1998.626, *1998.627, *1998.628, *1998.629, *1998.630, *1998.631) and 24 males (AMNH *266174, *266175, *266179, *266180, *266181, *266182, *266183, *266185, *266187, *266190, *266191, *266192, *266194, *266197, *267158; MNHN *1998.632, *1998.633, *1998.634, *1998.635, *1998.636, *1998.637, *1998.638, *1998.639, *1998.640); see table 35 for measurements.

IDENTIFICATION: Descriptions and comparative measurements of Rhinophylla pumilio that we consulted to identify our material included those in Husson (1962, 1978), Hill (1964), Carter (1966), Swanepoel and Genoways (1979), Williams and Genoways (1980a), and Brosset and Charles­Dominique (1990). No subspecies are currently recognized (Koopman, 1994).

Our Paracou specimens conform closely with previous qualitative descriptions of Rhinophylla pumilio in the literature cited above. Likewise, measurements of our series generally fall within the known range of variation for the species, although a few are slightly smaller than any previously reported. Because the small individuals in our collection are similar in all other repects to larger examples, we attribute this minor discrepancy to within­population morphometric variation. Like other collections of R. pumilio from the Guianas, our Paracou vouchers fall at the lower end of the known range of size variation for the species.

FIELD OBSERVATIONS: We recorded 128 captures (probably including some recaptures) of Rhinophylla pumilio at Paracou, of which 106 were in ground­level mistnets, 2 were in elevated mistnets, 19 were at roosts, and 1 was in a harp trap near ground level. Of the 107 ground­level mistnet and harptrap captures, 22 were in well­drained primary forest, 44 were in swampy primary forest, 14 were in creekside primary forest, 4 were in treefall openings in primary forest, 19 were in manmade clearings, and 4 were in closed­canopy secondary growth. The two bats captured in elevated mistnets were taken 5–10 m above a treefall opening in creekside primary forest.

We found eight roosting groups of Rhinophylla pumilio at six unique roost sites (one roost was revisited twice). All of the roosts we found were in foliage between 1.5 and 5 m above the ground. Six roosting groups of R. pumilio occupied ‘‘bifid’’ tents (sensu Kunz et al., 1994) made from the terminal leaflets of fronds of immature understory palms that we provisionally identified as Astrocaryum sciophilum . 11 In all recorded construction details, these tents exactly resembled those in which we also found Artibeus cinereus (see figs. 43–45) and Ectophylla macconnelli (see fig. 47). Although we do not know which (if any) of these bats was actually responsible for making such tents, we once collected (on 6 August 1993) a group of three R. pumilio from a tent previously occupied (on 30 July 1993) by seven E. macconnelli . By contrast, we never ob­

served other species of bats in tents previously found occupied by R. pumilio . For this reason, and because the delicate anterior dentition of Rhinophylla seems inadequate to the task of chewing through the tough lateral veins of Astrocaryum leaves, we favor the hypothesis suggested by Charles­Dominique (1993) that R. pumilio is a roost parasite that uses tents made by other bats.

In addition to finding roosts of Rhinophylla pumilio in bifid Astrocaryum leaf­tents, we disturbed one group of three individuals from an unidentified location in a clump of Phenakospermum guyannense ( Strelitziaceae ) that contained an ‘‘apical’’ tent ( Kunz et al., 1994) similar in construction to those in which we found Uroderma bilobatum at oth­ er sites (see fig. 51). On another occasion we found an adult male R. pumilio roosting alone beneath an unmodified leaf of P. guyannense .

Of the four Astrocaryum leaf­tents in which we found Rhinophylla pumilio , two were in well­drained primary forest, one was in closed­canopy secondary growth, and one was in primary forest at the edge of a swampy area. The two Phenakospermum roosts were both in swampy primary forest. None of the roosting groups we found at Paracou (table 36) contained more than one adult male.