Seba's Short-tailed Bat
(Carollia perspicillata)

Picture of the animal

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Physical characteristics and distribution

Head and body length of C. perspicillata is 48-65 mm, with a tail length of 3-14 mm and forearm length of 35-45 mm. Weights average 10-20 grams. Coloration of C. perspicillata is generally dark brown to rusty but 1 or 2 specimens of 50 from Central America are a clear pale orange.

C. perspicillata feeds at a number of sites throughout a single night, eating a variety of fruits including, guava, plantain, bananas and wild figs. The bat has also been observed taking nectar from passionflowers and insects seem to be an important part of its diet.

Roosts consist of single bats as well as small groups and colonies of several hundred to several thousand individuals. Groups are divided into "harems" of one male and several females with their infants. The males in these groups exhibit spatial fidelity and territorial behavior, vigorously recruiting females. It is suggested that harem males are present as a result rather than a cause of female grouping, however, and that these groupings of females form at the limited suitable roosts. Vocalization between the male and females warn intruding males and control the females. Harem males also guard the infants while their mothers are out foraging and help to reunite the two when she returns. Additional groups consist of only males or juveniles.

Breeding in C. perspicillata is seasonally polyestrous, with a minimum reproductive period occurring late in the wet season from October to early January. Gestation is 2.5-3 months and a single infant is usually produced. Sexual maturity is reached at 1 year for females and between 1 and 2 years for males. Nearly two-thirds of C. perspicillata born are males, though their higher mortality rate keeps the ratio of males to females at about 1:1. Average life expectancy is approximately 2.6 years. C. perspicillata has become to be known as a pest due to the increased availability of cultivated products such as mangoes, coffee, almonds, guavas and pawpaws.

C. perspicillata is found in Oaxaca, Veracruz and Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico) to Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, SE Brazil and Guinas; Trinidad and Tobago; perhpaps Jamaica, and N Lesser Antilles. A record from Grenada (Lesser Antilles ) is probably erroneous.

Description of the brain

Animal source and preparation
All specimens collected followed the same preparation and histological procedure.

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