Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Bat pollination ofEncholirium glaziovii, a terrestrial bromeliad


The many-flowered, brush-like spikes ofEncholirium glaziovii, a ground-dwelling pitcairnioid bromeliad of the “campo rupestre” formation of southeastern Brazil, was observed being pollinated by the glossophagine bat,Lonchophylla bokermanni, in the Serra do Cipó (Minas Gerais). Nectar feeding was while hovering, and the pollen was preferentially transferred by the bat's snout. The floral pattern is chiropterophilous; unlike known tillandsioid bat flowers, stamens and style are protrusive beyond a small, persistent perigon, and anthesis, apparently protogynous, extends over several nights, with gradual onset and cease. Although various other flower-visitingChiroptera are known to occur in the area and are not mechanically precluded from exploitingEncholirium glaziovii, no one seems to compete withLonchophylla bokermanni. This species, a trap-liner, habitually forages in open habitats, a possible reason for its exclusiveness.—Flower details of two other species ofEncholirium from the same locality including one with the bat pollination syndrome, are given.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Armstrong, J., 1979: Biotic pollination mechanisms in the Australian flora—a review. — New Zealand J. Bot.17: 467–508.

  2. Baker, H. G., 1970: Two cases of bat pollination in Central America. — Revta. Biol. Trop.17: 187–197.

  3. —, 1973: Evolutionary relationships between flowering plants and animals in American and African tropical forests. — InMeggers, B. J., Ayensu, E. S., Duckworth, W. D., (Eds.): Tropical forest ecosystems in Africa and South America: a comparative review, pp. 145–159. — Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

  4. Budnowsky, A., 1922: Die Septaldrüsen der Bromeliaceen. — Bot. Archiv (Königsberg)1: 47–80, 101–105

  5. Carvalho, C. T. de, 1960: Das visitas de morcegos às flores (Mammalia, Chiroptera). — An. Acad. Bras. Ciência32: 359–377

  6. Dahlgren, R., Clifford, H., Yeo, P., 1985: The families of the monocotyledons. Structure, evolution, and taxonomy. — Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, Tokyo: Springer.

  7. Dobat, K., Peikert-Holle, T., 1985: Blüten und Fledermäuse. Bestäubung durch Fledermäuse und Flughunde (Chiropterophilie). — Frankfurt am Main: Waldemar Kramer.

  8. Fleming, T. H., 1982: Foraging strategies of plant-visiting bats. — InKunz, T. H., (Ed.): Ecology of bats, pp. 287–325. — New York: Plenum Press.

  9. Gentry, A., 1974: Flowering phenology and diversity in tropicalBignoniaceae. — Biotropica6: 64–68.

  10. Heithaus, E. R., 1982: Coevolution between bats and plants. — InKunz, T. H., (Ed.): Ecology of bats, pp. 327–367. — New York: Plenum.

  11. —, 1974: Bat activity and pollination ofBauhinia pauletia: plant-pollinator coevolution. — Ecology55: 412–419.

  12. Helversen, O. v., Helversen, D. v., 1975:Glossophaga soricina (Phyllostomatidae). Nahrungsaufnahme (Lecken). — Film E 1837 Inst. Wiss. Film Göttingen.

  13. Janzen, D. H., 1971: Euglossine bees as long-distance pollinators of tropical plants. — Science171: 203–205.

  14. Joly, A. B., 1970: Conheça a vegetação brasileira. — São Paulo: Poligono.

  15. Koopman, K. F., 1981: The distributional patterns of New World nectar-feeding bats. — Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard.68: 352–369.

  16. Lemke, T. O., 1984: Foraging ecology of the long-nosed bat,Glossophaga soricina, with respect to resource availability. — Ecology65: 538–548.

  17. Magalhães, G. M., 1956: Contribuição para o conhecimento da flora dos campos alpinos de Minas Gerais. — Anais da 5. Reunião Anual da Sociedade Botánica do Brasil: 227–304.

  18. Nimer, E., 1972: Climatologia da região sudeste do Brasil. — Rev. Brasil. Geogr.34: 3–48.

  19. Porsch, O., 1932: Das Problem Fledermausblume. — Sitzungsanzeig. Akad. Wiss. Wien, math.-nat. Kl.,3: 1–2.

  20. —, 1935: Säugetiere als Blumenausbeuter und die Frage der Säugetierblume 2. — Biol. Gener.11: 171–188.

  21. —, 1936: Säugetiere als Blumenausbeuter 3. — Biol. Gener.12: 1–21.

  22. Rauh, W., 1985: Bromelienstudien 1. Neue und wenig bekannte Arten aus Peru und anderen Ländern (17. Mitt.). — Trop. Subtrop. Pflanzenwelt53. — Wiesbaden: Steiner.

  23. —, 1986: Bromelienstudien 1. Neue und wenig bekannte Arten aus Peru und anderen Ländern (18. Mitt.). — Trop. Subtrop. Pflanzenwelt58. — Wiesbaden: Steiner.

  24. —, 1987: Bromelienstudien 1. Neue und wenig bekannte Arten aus Peru und anderen Ländern (19. Mitt.). — Trop. Subtrop. Pflanzenwelt60. — Wiesbaden: Steiner.

  25. Salas, D., 1973: Una Bromeliacea costarricense polinizada por murcielagos. — Brenesia2: 5–10.

  26. Sazima, I., 1976: Observations on the feeding habits of phyllostomid bats (Carollia, Anoura, andVampyrops) in southeastern Brazil. — J. Mammal.57: 381–382.

  27. —, 1977: Solitary and group foraging: two flower visiting patterns of the lesser spear-nosed batPhyllostomus discolor. — Biotropica9: 213–215.

  28. —, 1978: Una nova espécie deLonchophylla da Serra do Cipó, Minas Gerais, Brasil (Mammalia, Chiroptera, Phyllostomidae). — Rev. Brasil. Biol.38: 81–89.

  29. Sazima, M., Sazima, I., 1975: Quiropterofilia emLafoensia pacari St. Hil. (Lythraceae), na Serra do Cipó, Minas Gerais. — Ci. Cult.24: 405–416.

  30. —, 1978: Bat pollination of the passion flower,Passiflora mucronata, in southeastern Brazil. — Biotropica10: 100–109.

  31. Schniewind-Thies, J., 1897: Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Septalnektarien. — Dissert. Jena.

  32. Sendulsky, T., Burman, A. G., 1978:Paspalum species of the Serra do Cipó (1): a contribution to the study of the BrazilianPoaceae. — Revta. Brasil Bot.1: 1–15.

  33. Smith, L. B., Downs, R. J., 1974:Bromeliaceae 1:Pitcairnioideae. — Flora Neotropica14. — New York: Hafner.

  34. Vogel, S., 1969a, b: Chiropterophilie in der neotropischen Flora. Neue Mitteilungen 2 u. 3. — Flora158: 185–222; 289–323.

  35. Yanagizawa, Y., Gottsberger, G., 1984: Competição entreDistictella elongata (Bignoniaceae) eCrotalaria anagyroides (Fabaceae) com relação às abelhas polinizadoras no cerrado de Botucatu, Estado de São Paulo. — Acta Biol.17: 149–166.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sazima, I., Vogel, S. & Sazima, M. Bat pollination ofEncholirium glaziovii, a terrestrial bromeliad. Pl Syst Evol 168, 167–179 (1989).

Download citation

Key words

  • Angiosperms
  • Bromeliaceae
  • Pitcairnioideae
  • Encholirium
  • Phyllostomidae
  • Lonchophylla
  • Chiropterophily
  • Flora of southeastern Brazil