Chilonatalus micropus (Dobson, 1880)

Don E. Wilson & Russell A. Mittermeier, 2019, Natalidae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 9 Bats, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 589-596 : 591

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.6811090


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scientific name

Chilonatalus micropus


2. View Plate 45: Natalidae

Caribbean Lesser Funnel-eared Bat

Chilonatalus micropus View in CoL

French: Natalide a pattes courtes / German: Kleines Karibisches Trichterohr / Spanish: Natélido del Caribe

Other common names: Caribbean Least Funnel-eared Bat

Taxonomy. Natalus micropus Dobson, 1880 View in CoL ,

“ Kingston, Jamaica.”

This species is monotypic.

Distribution. Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Providencia and San Andrés Is ( Colombia). View Figure

Descriptive notes. Ear 13-16-4 mm, forearm 30-7-35-1 mm (males) and 32-1-35 mm (females); weight 2-6-5 g (males) and 3 g (females; single individual). Pelage 1s dense, long, light brown to orangebrown, lighter dorsally, and bicolored, with tips darker than bases. There are dense mustache-like hair tufts along lateral margins of upper lip. Dermal outgrowths are present around mouth. Ears are broad and square-shaped, with vestigial 2-3 ear pleats, straight anterior margin, deeply notched lateral margin, and relatively rounded apex. Natalid organ of males is small and hemispherical and located on dorsum of rostrum and touching forehead. Wings are broad and relatively pointed, inserting to tibia at its distal one-half. Free edge of uropatagium has fine fringe of hairs. Penis is relatively long. Rostrum is long and narrow, and braincase 1s globular, rising sharply from rostrum. Crown of second premolar is about as high as that of third premolar. Chromosomal complement has 2n = 36 and FN = 54.

Habitat. Mostly mesic environments of semideciduous to evergreen tropical forest with annual precipitation up to 2899 mm at elevations of 0-400 m. The Caribbean Lesser Funnel-eared Bat roosts in warm and humid caves, which often contain hot sections. In St. Clair Cave, Jamaica, the Caribbean Lesser Funnel-eared Bat has been found in the warmest areas, with air saturated with water vapor and high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide. Inside caves,it appears to select relatively well-protected areas such as walls, ceiling solution chambers, and underside of ledges, butit has been found more exposed in main cave corridors.

Food and Feeding. There is no specific information available for this species, but as in other species of funnel-eared bats, the Caribbean Lesser Funnel-eared Bat is certainly Insectivorous.

Breeding. Reproductive pattern of the Caribbean Lesser Funnel-eared Bat is poorly known. Samples taken in Jamaica in mid-July have varied in their proportion of lactating females (2:6-90%); however, by late July, no females were lactating suggesting that weaning might be completed by then.

Activity patterns. The Caribbean Lesser Funnel-eared Bat is nocturnal, butits activity patterns are poorly known. Individuals have been netted at 20:00-23:00 h, either coming out of a cave or flying in open countryside, suggesting that they are active until late at night. It flies very slowly and does not get entangled in mist nets when caught in them.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. The Caribbean Lesser Funnel-eared Bat is moderately gregarious in roosts, forming groups from 10-20 to several hundred individuals. It has been found roosting in loose clusters. It can coexist in caves with nine other bat species. It mostly roosts separately from them but has been found in mixed association with the Jamaican Greater Funnel-eared Bat ( Natalus jamaicensis ) but segregated into different groups within the association. When disturbed in caves, it retreats flying near walls at c. 1 m above the floor.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Vulnerable on The IUCN Red List. This classification includes the Cuban Lesser Funnel-eared Bat ( Chilonatalus macer ), a species from which it is clearly distinct and which is more common. With a geographical distribution fragmented across four islands, two of which (Providencia and San Andrés) are very small and isolated and have dense human populations, the Caribbean Lesser Funnel-eared Bat appears to be at greater risk than its current status indicates. Its only known large population occupies St. Clair Cave, Jamaica, where feral cats feed on the cave’s bats. On Hispaniola, where farmers traditionally engage in large-scale extraction of bat guano from caves and can severely disturb cave bat populations, the only known roostsite is Cueva Los Patos, a cave in the immediate vicinity of a small town. With such a limited known distribution and potential threats, population status of the Caribbean Lesser Funnel-eared Bat requires urgent study to better assess its conservation needs.

Bibliography. Davalos & Eriksson (2003), Fincham (1997), Genoways et al. (2005), Goodwin (1970), Kerridge & Baker (1978), McFarlane (1986), Ottenwalder & Genoways (1982), Tejedor (2011).














Chilonatalus micropus

Don E. Wilson & Russell A. Mittermeier 2019

Natalus micropus

Dobson 1880
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