Definitions of Interaction Types
This database only contains accounts of bats interacting with
other organisms and not hypotheses that they might (e.g. a flower has
chiropterophilious features). We report what is published and do not assume
that every visit to a flower results in pollination or that every fruit eaten
results in seed dispersal. We do assume that every object that is consumed is
destroyed in the process.
Interactions are witnessed by the author(s) or recorded via
photo, video, or bat detector. In order to distinguish between interaction
types, additional confirmation from evidence in fecal samples, stomachs,
exclusion experiments, etc., may be necessary. If the author(s) cite an interaction from another publication, it is tagged as “secondary”.
- Cohabitation: The bat is witnessed, recorded, or photographed to be sharing a living space with the object taxon.
- Consumption: The bat is witnessed deliberately eating the plant or fungus, or fragments are identified in pellets under roosts. Tags are used to specify the part of the object taxon consumed.
- Hematophagy: The bat deliberately consumes the blood of a bird or mammal without consuming the flesh other than what may be unintentionally ingested at the site of blood consumption.
- Host: The bat functions as the host (parasitic, mutualistic, or commensal) of the:
- Arthropod, usually as an ectoparasite in the fur or embedded in the skin around the ears and nose.
- Fungus, Virus, or Bacteria, either internally or externally. (Coming soon: Worm, or other parasite in Kingdoms Protozoa or Chromista.)
- Pollination: The bat visits a flower and makes contact with the reproductive parts (anthers and stigma), collecting and depositing pollen on the stigma, often resulting in fertilization and development of fruit/seeds.
- Predation: The bat deliberately consumes the object taxon (Arthropod, Bird, Mammal, Reptile, Amphibian, or Fish) in the air, on a surface, or in the water. (Coming soon: bat predation of other bat species.)
- Prey: The bat is deliberately consumed from the air, on a surface, or in the water by the object taxon (Arthropod, Bird, Mammal, Reptile, Amphibian, or Fish. Coming soon: Bat.)
- Roost: The bat uses the leaf or other part of the plant as a day or night roost. These can be roosts in foliage (used opportunistically or “tent” created by the bat), in tree cavities, under exfoliating bark, out in the open on tree trunks, boles, or branches, under fallen logs, inside the “pitchers” of Nepenthes, or other plant structure.
- Seed Dispersal: The bat removes fruit/seed (diaspore) from the parent plant and deposits seeds in a new location without harming them.
- Endozoochorous (diaspore is ingested and passed unharmed through the digestive tract),
- Epizoochorous (diaspore sticks to the skin, feathers, or fur via barbs, hooks, or viscid surface), or
- Stomatochorous (diaspore is deliberately carried away by an animal and dropped with viable seeds after the edible parts are consumed)
- Transport: The bat acts as a transport agent of the object taxon:
- Arthropod, e.g, flower mites moving from one plant to another.
- Bryophyte fragments carried internally or externally after contact with the parent bryophyte, which are then able to reproduce asexually via fragmentation in a new location.
- Visitation: The bat is observed interacting with a flower to collect nectar or pollen, but it is not confirmed that it has come into contact with the flower’s reproductive parts. Pollen may be found on fur, in feces or stomach, but deposition on another flower isn’t confirmed.