Vol. 59, 2020
Ecological Morphology of
Neotropical Bat Wing Structures
Universidad Javeriana, Unidad de Ecología y Sistemática (UNESIS),
Bogotá 11001000, Colombia. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 5 May 2020 / Accepted 17
Communicated by Chi-Chien Kuo
has a direct influence on animal fitness. Studies addressing the
identification of patterns and variations across several guilds are
fundamental in ecomorphological research. Wings are the core of
ecological morphology in bats; nevertheless, individual bones and
structures that support the wing, including metacarpals, phalanges and
the length of digits, have rarely been the subject of comprehensive
research when studying wing morphology. Here, I analyzed morphological
variations of wing structures across 11 bat guilds and how individual
bone structures are correlated to diet, foraging mode and habitat use.
I obtained wing measurements from 1512 voucher specimens of 97 species.
All the specimens analyzed came from the Mammalian Collection at the
Museo Javeriano de Historia Natural of Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
(MPUJ-MAMM) (Bogotá, Colombia). Positive correlations between size and
the length of the third and fifth digit were detected. Bat guilds that
capture their preys using aerial strategy in uncluttered habitats had
longer third digits but short fifth digits compared to guilds that rely
on gleaning strategy and forage in highly cluttered space. Although
terminal phalanges were shown to be important structures for guild
classification, metacarpals were strongly related to aerial foragers
from uncluttered habitats because of their potential role in flight
performance and ecological adaptations. Results show that habitat use,
as well as foraging mode, are reflected in wing structures. Different
wing traits to those evaluated in this study should be considered to
better understand the ecological interactions, foraging strategy, wing
adaptations, and flight performance in Neotropical bats.
Key words: Chiroptera, Wing
traits, Ecomorphological relationships, Guild, Flight pattern.
Citation: Castillo-Figueroa D. 2020.
Ecological morphology of wing structures in Neotropical bats. Zool Stud