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Defence of females by dominant males of the Jamaican fruit-eating bat Artibeus jamaicensis was observed in two natural colonies over 2 yr. A log-linear model was used to evaluate the frequency distribution of visits to harems by sex, season and agonistic interaction of dominant males. Harem group size varied from four to 18 females, with one adult male in the small and medium-sized groups and two males in the large groups (> 14 females). A highly significant interaction was noted between the age and sex of the visitor and the response of the dominant male. Male visitors were attacked more often than female and juvenile visitors. Aggressive defence increased during the reproductive seasons, with dominant males showing more agonistic responses towards male visitors. An increase in the frequency of visits by male visitors was noted in harem groups that ranged in size from four to 12 females, but the frequency of male visits declined in harem groups that contained more than 14 females.