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Limiting similarity and species assemblages in the short-tailed fruit bats

Authors

  • H. A. York,

    1. Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Natural History Museum & Biodiversity Research Center, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA
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  • M. Papes

    1. Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Natural History Museum & Biodiversity Research Center, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA
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Correspondence
Heather A. York, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology & Natural History Museum & Biodiversity Research Center, University of Kansas, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045, USA.
Email: york@ku.edu

Abstract

We analyzed the morphometrics of seven taxa of short-tailed fruit bats Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae: Carollia, (Carollia benkeithi, Carollia brevicauda, Carollia castanea, Carollia perspicillata azteca, Carollia perspicillata perspicillata, Carollia sowelli and Carollia subrufa) to assess within-taxon variation and to address the possibility that morphological distinctions facilitate sympatry within this genus of ecologically similar bats. Whereas morphological similarities were found among species in certain combinations of allopatric taxa, members of sympatric assemblages differ significantly, indicating that there is a consistent representation of morphotypes within various assemblages of Carollia despite changes in species composition across the range of the genus. Furthermore, the differences in the skull size and shape among taxa correspond to potential differences in food-handling abilities and point to dietary differentiation among species as a factor in the facilitation of coexistence.

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