Date of this Version
Acta Chiroptera (2003) 5(2): 251-267.
Only one species of bat, Molossus molossus, previously has been documented as occurring on the northern Lesser Antillean island of Nevis. Field research and reviews of existing museum collections have provided documentation based on voucher specimens for an additional seven species occurring on the island — Noctilio leporinus, Brachyphylla cavernarum, Monophyllus plethodon, Ardops nichollsi, Artibeus jamaicensis, Natalus stramineus, and Tadarida brasiliensis. The biological diversity of the chiropteran fauna on Nevis is similar to that found on other islands in the northern Lesser Antilles. Ecologically, this is a simple chiropteran fauna, including one piscivore (N. leporinus), one omnivore (B. cavernarum), one pollenivore/nectivore (M. plethodon), two frugivores (A. nichollsi, A. jamaicensis), and three insectivorous species (N. stramineus, T. brasiliensis, M. molossus). Species-area and species-elevation analyses for the chiropteran fauna of the Greater and Lesser Antillean islands gave r2-values of 0.74 and 0.33, respectively. Tn the species-area analysis the bat fauna of Nevis falls above the regression line and in the species-elevation analysis it falls almost on the line. The chiropteran fauna of Nevis lies outside the Lesser Antillean Faunal Core and would be best characterized as a generalized Lesser Antillean fauna that appears to be characteristic of the northern Lesser Antilles.