Comparison of frugivory by howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata) and bats (Artibeus jamaicensis) in the tropical rain forest of Los Tuxtlas, Mexico



Information on the fruit diets of howling monkeys and fruit-eating bats in the tropical rain forest of Los Tuxtlas, Mexico was collected for a year to compare the plant species used. Howling monkeys used 19 plant species whereas bats used 32 plant species as fruit sources. Eleven species were common in the diet of both mammals. A rank analysis at the plant species level showed that the fruit diets of Alouatta and Artibeus were very different. In contrast to bats, howling monkeys displayed a seasonal pattern in fruit consumption. Diet overlap between the two mammals was highest during the monkeys' fruit-eating season. Measures of fruit production in eight trees (four species) indicated marked variations in fruit biomass produced and in length of fruiting from tree to tree and species to species. Peaks in fruit production were typical both at the species and the individual tree levels, demonstrating the very patchy nature of the fruit available to the monkeys and the bats.