While the presence of some phytophagous bats species in Neotropical cities is generally known, detailed information on their feeding habits in urban ecosystems is still limited. In some highly developed urban spaces, native plant species are scarce, therefore phytophagous bats living in those conditions could be relying only on resources offered by introduced vegetation. This study describes the diet of Glossophaga soricina in the campus of Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in the city of Lima, Peru. To achieve this, from September 2016 to May 2017, bats were captured using mist nets to collect samples of feces and pollen from their body surface. The phytophagous diet of G. soricina comprised resources offered by at least 25 species of cultivated plants, nearly all of them introduced to Lima. Glossophaga soricina mainly fed on the nectar/pollen of Agave angustifolia, Eucalyptus spp., Crescentia cujete and Musa spp., and fruits of Piper aduncum and Morus nigra. Insects were also registered in its diet. It consumed many non-chiropterophilous flowers and most of its principal resources are not abundant in the study area. Results suggest that G. soricina is a generalist nectarivore that has adapted its dietary habits to consume nectar/pollen of a wide variety of flowers and complements its diet with fruits and insects. It is concluded that introduced cultivated vegetation permits the persistence of G. soricina in the city; hence unsuitable green areas management could negatively affect its local populations. More studies on ecology of urban phytophagous bats in Lima and other Neotropical cities are required to conserve their populations in those altered ecosystems.
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Vol. 23 • No. 1