Group structure and diurnal behavior in a large colony of Mimon cozumelae in Yucatán, México


  • Kinari Romo-Hernández Centro de Investigaciones Tropicales, Universidad Veracruzana
  • Jorge Ortega Departamento de Zoología, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional
  • Beatriz Bolívar-Cimé Instituto de Investigaciones Forestales, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa
  • M. Cristina MacSwiney G. Centro de Investigaciones Tropicales, Universidad Veracruzana


Cave-roosting, diurnal activities, group composition, Phyllostominae, Yucatán Peninsula.


The Phyllostominae is a Neotropical subfamily of bats that include species considered sensitive to habitat disturbance, but that are the poorly known.  The Cozumelan Golden Bat, Mimon cozumelae, is a rare phyllostomine that inhabits forests and semi-deciduous tropical forests from central México to western Colombia.  This study describes for the first time, the social organization and diurnal behavior of M. cozumelae to provide basic information about the social relationships of this elusive species.  We captured and marked individuals inhabiting a cave in Yucatán, México in 2020 and 2021.  Observations were carried out filming its behavior inside the cave in two seasons, breeding (March-July) and non-breeding (August-January).  We constructed an ethogram and classified the observed behaviors into states and events in each season.  A total of 103 individuals (47 females and 56 males) of M. cozumelae were captured.  The sex ratio was not different from 1:1.  The size of the groups did not vary throughout the seasons.  The most frequent behaviors performed by M. cozumelae were resting, followed by flight, self-grooming, wing extension, and social grooming.  The group composition most common in both seasons was multi-male, ruling out the typical formation of harems in the breeding season for this species.  Copulation and maternal grooming were recorded for the first time in the reproductive season.  This bat exhibits social grooming, which in theoretical terms could categorize it as a species that forms societies.  This study contributes updated information regarding group size and composition, and especially diurnal behavior of M. cozumelae.  It is suggested that this work serves as a baseline to investigate its social systems (behavioral ecology) in depth, and when carrying out conservation plans for this species.


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