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Reproductive pattern of Leptonycteris curasoae Miller (Chiroptera : Phyllostomidae) in northern Venezuala

INTRODUCTION The genus Leptonycteris includes the largest nectarivorous bat of the semiarid neotropical region (Eisenberg 1989; Linares 1987). Leptonycteris occurs from southMammalia, t. 62, n° 1, 1998: 69-76. western United States to northern South America, including arid regions in the Venezuelan and Colombian Andes (Nowak and Paradiso 1991). Because L. curasoae includes Leptonycteris sanborni (Arita 1991), the species ranges from 32° to 4° North latitude. L. curasoae lives in semiarid zones that show strong annual variations in temperature and/or rainfall. In the northern part of its distribution, seasonal changes are mainly caused by variations in temperature, rainfall and photoperiod. In the southern part of the distribution, specifically in northern Venezuelan semiarid lands, where variations in temperature and photoperiod are very small, seasonal changes are mainly caused by the erratic pattern of rainfall (Sarmiento 1975 ; Matteucci et al 1977 ; Walter 1985). In areas with marked seasonal changes in climate, Bradbury (1977) proposed that species generally show seasonal breeding and seasonal cycles of social structure. In southern Arizona, L. curasoae has only one breeding cycle but there is very little information about changes in its social structure during the year (Hayward and Cockrum 1971). If there were a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mammalia - International Journal of the Systematics, Biology and Ecology of Mammals de Gruyter

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