Foraging rates of Leptonycteris curasoae vary with characteristics of Agave palmeri

Holly K. Ober, Robert J. Steidl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

We examined factors influencing foraging behavior of lesser long-nosed bats, Leptonycteris curasoae, in southeastern Arizona. When L. curasoae are present in this region, their diet is restricted to nectar and pollen from 1 species, Agave palmeri, which has heightened conservation concerns for the plant as forage for this endangered bat. We found that visitation rates of L. curasoae to individual A. palmeri near a roost were high (mean = 273 ± 17 visits per plant per hour) and varied with the spatial distribution and morphological characteristics of individual plants. Specifically, visitation rates varied with time of night, distance and orientation from the bat roost, and number and relative vertical position of flowers along the inflorescence. We suggest that both spatial distribution and temporal variation in flowering chronology be considered when developing strategies to manage A. palmeri to support L. curasoae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-74
Number of pages7
JournalSouthwestern Naturalist
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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