Saturday, October 27, 2012

[Mammalogy • 2012] Transient yellow colouration of the bat Artibeus jamaicensis coincides with pollen consumption


Fig. 1. Images of Artibeus jamaicensis fur colouration types. (a) Normal grey-brownish colouration; (b) atypical yellow colouration observed during January in the Yucatan.

Abstract
Atypical colouration of the fur is not commonly recorded in bats. Here we report a transient yellow colouration attributed to dietary components in Artibeus jamaicensis in 2004 and 2005 at two localities of Yucatan, Mexico. Change in colouration was recorded in January when 62% of A. jamaicensis captured (n = 50) appeared yellow. All faecal samples collected from atypically coloured individuals consisted mainly of Ceiba pentandra pollen, which was also recovered from the fur. Carotenoid pigments contained in pollen ingested during peak Ceiba flowering appear to be incorporated into the hairs of A. jamaicensis. Further investigations are required to understand how pigment is transferred between the pollen and the hairs of A. jamaicensis.

Keywords: Chiroptera; Diet; Moult; Neotropical bats; Pollen

Transient yellow colouration of the bat Artibeus jamaicensis coincides with pollen consumption

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