The diet, activity and reproductive patterns of several species of bats were investigated in primary forests of Central Amazon. Between August 1996 and August 1997, using mist nets set both at canopy and understorey levels, 936 bats, belonging to 51 species, 31 genera and 6 families were captured. Fecal samples from 35 species were examined, with four food categories and 25 food items identified. Time of captures indicate a wide variation, but the major part of the species presented a peak of activity around the first hour after sunset. Three reproductive peaks were observed: October-November; January-February; and July-August, but reproductive patterns varied among the families. The structure of the bat fauna in Manaus is similar to other sites in the Amazon and Central America, the main common points being: a) a high diversity of bat species, usually more than 40 species representing 6-8 families; b) 3-4 very common and geographically widespread species; c) most species are represented by a few captures; d) frugivorous species dominate the fauna and insectivorous species are less often captured; and e) most species cluster in 2-3 guilds, dominated by small (< 12 g) species.
Chiroptera; activity patterns; bats; biodiversity; Amazon Forest; Brazil; diet; guilds; primary forests; reproductive patterns