Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats (Chilonatalus micropus) are found across Jamaica, though most frequently observed in three caves (Oxford, St. Clair, and Windsor). They have also been observed, though less abundantly, on Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti) and on the Colombian islands of San Andrés and Providencia. (Genoways, et al., 2005; Kerridge and Baker, 1978; Solari, 2018; Tejedor, 2011)
Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats are obligate cave roosters, and have been found in 21 terrestrial caves of various sizes, though mostly in caves that are small and isolated. These caves tend to be warm, with high humidity, and relatively high concentrations of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. Cuban funnel-eared bats require an environment with fairly stable humidity. Though (Black, et al., 2019; Dávalos, 2005; Genoways, et al., 2005; González and Wiarda, 2019; Kerridge and Baker, 1978; Parsons, et al., 2019; Solari, 2018; Tejedor, 2011)appears to be able to tolerate variations in roost temperature, they have adapted to the warm environment of tropical caves, as this is the only habitat type with a sufficient and stable enough humidity. It is possible that the obligate cave roosting lifestyle of has evolved due to the frequency of hurricanes in the Caribbean region, as cave roosting individuals would be more likely to survive a hurricane than exposed bats, such as those that dwell in trees.
Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats are perhaps the smallest of their genus. Records of adult male specimens collected reported weights ranging from 2.30 to 3.32 g, and adult female specimens collected had weights ranging from 2.80 to 2.88 g. The head-body length of (Buden, 1987; Dalquest, 1950; Genoways, et al., 2005; Kerridge and Baker, 1978; Ottenwalder and Genoways, 1982; Tejedor, 2011)ranges from 38 to 45 mm, with a tail length ranging from 45 to 48 mm. Their hind legs measure 7 to 8 mm in length, with the tail extending as long as, or longer than the legs. The tail extends to the posterior end of the uropatagium, but never beyond this membrane. Forearms of have been measured between 31.0 and 35.7 mm. Individuals from different regions vary in measurements, with Jamaican individuals measuring larger, on average, in most measurements taken. There is some degree of sexual dimorphism in the size of , with females being described as larger. Lengths of female skulls, crania, forearms, and third metacarpals exceeded those of males, though males had larger and broader brain cases.
All adult males of Natalidae, and is most prominent in the Chilonatalus genus. The appearance and placement of this organ on the head is useful in distinguishing one species from another. In Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats this organ is nearly naked, hemispherical in shape, and medium to large sized, (approximately 2.5 mm diameter). This organ is found in Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats on the dorsal surface of the head, where the brain case meets the rostrum, between the eyes, and near the anterior bases of the ears. The function of this organ is not fully understood, though it does contain some sensory-like cells and is thought to have some kind of glandular function. (Dalquest, 1950; Kerridge and Baker, 1978; Tejedor, 2011)have a rounded, glandular-like organ on their head. This organ is found in all species of, and only in the family
Many facial features used to describe Chilonatalus, the pararhinal glands on the anterior tip of the muzzle are relatively large and well developed, so much so that the projections form a primitive nose leaf-like structure that appears as a small, hairy projection on the dorsal tip of the snout and forces the nostrils forward. Nostrils open ventrolaterally in an elliptical shape. Despite the similarities found within the family and genus, facial features are important for distinguishing differences among Natalidae species. In Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats, the muzzle is tipped up, and the upper lip is slightly thickened. The lower lip is noteably thick, fleshy and well developed. Below the lower lip is a small, transverse, ridge-like projection, creating a distinguished "groove" below the mouth. This trait is present in some similar species, but is most pronounced in . (Buden, 1987; Dalquest, 1950; Kerridge and Baker, 1978; Tejedor, 2011)are common to the entire family or genus. In the genus
Individuals of the species possess 36 chromosomes (18 pairs) and may have low genetic variability. Genetic material does not differ greatly from other members of the genus. A precise breeding season and time to weaning is unknown, but lactation appears to end in July. This speculation is based on samples of females collected throughout July where up to 90% were lactating, as compared to a sample collected at the end of July that was entirely reproductively inactive. The species is known to have prominent nipples and mammary tissue in females, and long penises in males. The baculum is smaller than other members of the genus, and is slightly wider at the base than it is through the short, straight shaft. The tip of the baculum curves slightly downward. (Genoways, et al., 2005; Kerridge and Baker, 1978; Tejedor, 2011)
Research on the reproductive system and behaviour ofis lacking. Like other bats, young of this species is cared for by mothers until independence.
Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats are an obligate cave roosting species. They roost in groups on the ceilings of caves, spaced about 7 to 10 cm apart. They seem to prefer recessed or protected areas, such as the undersides of ledges, though they have also been observed roosting in open areas of caves. Some groupings observed consisted of 10 to 20 individuals, while others were estimated to be up to several hundred. It is unknown why Natalus major, loses water to the environment easily through their thin wing membranes. This results in dehydration, which may explain why these species are restricted to humid caves. (Genoways, et al., 2005; Hoyt and Baker, 1980; Kerridge and Baker, 1978; Solari, 2018)is an obligate cave rooster, though a closely related species found in the same region,
Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats are believed to use echolocation to navigate and perceive insect prey in their environment. It is likely that they do this with two frequencies between 40 and 80 kHz, though research in this area is limited. (Tejedor, 2011)
While research is lacking in this area, there is evidence that Natalidae. Lysosome-like activity has been found in the salivary glands of Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats, which may function to breakdown chitin in the exoskeletons of insects consumed as food. Cuban funnel-eared bats are also known echo-locators, likely using harmonics to hunt for insects in the dark. (Genoways, et al., 2005; Tejedor, 2011)is an insectivore, like other members of the family
Information on predators is not reported in the literature. Nocturnal habits and selection of roosts in most bats is an effective form of anti-predation behaviour.
Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats have been observed roosting among groups of other bat species, and roosting separately with only conspecifics. Some species they have been found roosting with include Mormoops blainvillei, Pteronotus parnellii, Pteronotus macleayi, Macrotus waterhousii, Monophyllus redmani, Artibeus jamaicensis, Pteronotus fuliginosa, Erophylla sezekorni, Phyllonycteris aphylla, and Natalus major. It is unknown if plays any significant role in the ecology of these groups, or the caves in which they reside. It is possible that Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats play some role in controlling insect populations, as they are thought to be insectivores. (Genoways, et al., 2005; Kerridge and Baker, 1978; Tejedor, 2011)
Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats may prove an enlightening mammalian research subject, particularly in the field of evolutionary biology due to its limited distribution and small size relative to other mammals. On Hispaniola, farmers collect bat feces from caves to use in manure based fertilizer, called guano. Some of the islands where (Kerridge and Baker, 1978; Solari, 2018; Tejedor, 2011)is found are popular tourism destinations, and recreational activities do occur within the caves where they live.
There are no known adverse effects ofon humans.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed Natalidae from some Bahamian islands has been attributed to environmental changes resulting in loss of required microclimates. (Dávalos, 2005; Solari, 2018; Tejedor, 2011)as vulnerable due to a decline in population of about 30% over three generations. Possible explanations for this decline include population isolation as well as a decline in critical habitat. Populations of Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats are fragmented across 4 islands, 2 of which are very small and near human populations which may be detrimental to the bats. Any threats posed to the caves where they live, respectively threaten the bats. Threats to caves include residential and commercial development, mining, tourism, recreation and feces collection by farmers. These activities may put stress on the species, disrupt its behavior, or degrade its habitat. Feral cats have also been known to feed on Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats in Jamaica, where the only known large population of the species exists. Extirpation of
Conservation efforts should focus on protecting the habitat of Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats. Protecting the caves where they reside is believed to be the best way to protect the species. More detailed research is needed to determine appropriate monitoring efforts and management strategies. This species has not been well researched despite the fact that they are known to exist in such large groups. Research efforts may have proven difficult for several reasons. There has not been a great deal of bat research in the geographic range of (Genoways, et al., 2005; Kerridge and Baker, 1978; Ottenwalder and Genoways, 1982; Solari, 2018). This may be party due to the hot humid conditions of the caves they are found in, which has been described as uncomfortable to humans. These bats are also very small and difficult to capture in mist nets, though they have been easily captured using hand nets. Lastly, they may have very narrow ecological requirements which may be hard to duplicate, making them difficult to keep live in captivity.
The phylogeny of Chilonatalus was previously considered to be a subgenus within the genus Natalus, but it is now accepted to be its own genus, and sister taxa to the genus Natalus. The genus Chilonatalus is monophyletic, and contains three species: C. macer, C. tumidifrons, and . The closest relative to Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats is C. tumidifrons. (Dávalos, 2005; Genoways, et al., 2005; Kerridge and Baker, 1978; Morgan and Czaplewski, 2003; Ottenwalder and Genoways, 1982; Tejedor, 2011)has been debated over the years.
The etymology of Natalus (the genus in which Cuban lesser funnel-eared bats were originally placed) is derived from a Latin word meaning "related to one's birth". This is presumably a reference to the small size of the bat, and their resemblance to newborns. The specific epithet, micropus, means "small foot". (Kerridge and Baker, 1978)
Michelle Packer (author), University of Manitoba, Annemarie van der Marel (editor), University of Manitoba, Tanya Dewey (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
uses sound to communicate
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
used loosely to describe any group of organisms living together or in close proximity to each other - for example nesting shorebirds that live in large colonies. More specifically refers to a group of organisms in which members act as specialized subunits (a continuous, modular society) - as in clonal organisms.
The process by which an animal locates itself with respect to other animals and objects by emitting sound waves and sensing the pattern of the reflected sound waves.
humans benefit economically by promoting tourism that focuses on the appreciation of natural areas or animals. Ecotourism implies that there are existing programs that profit from the appreciation of natural areas or animals.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
parental care is carried out by females
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
animals that live only on an island or set of islands.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sound above the range of human hearing for either navigation or communication or both
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
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