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A Geoffroy's tailless bat (Anoura geoffroyi)pollinating Puya nitida in the Andean subparamo at about 9,000 feet elevation above Cuenca, Ecuador. This plant genus contains over 100 species, is found mostly at higher elevations of the Andes and is the oldest genus of bromeliads. Though most bromeliads are found in tropical rainforests growing as epiphytes on trees, Puya, are solely ground-dwelling and are very tolerant of low temperatures, surviving down to -20°C. Puya are long-lived plants and some of them need about 100 years from the seed until they flower. This species grows in dense colonies. Individual plants normally die once flowering is complete, though the colonies persist. Flowers are highly attractive to bats. Hummingbirds also visit them by day. As pollinators are scarce in this high mountain region where they normally grow Puya relies on both birds and bats. However bats have been shown to be their most effective pollinators. Pollination
MM8034120523EC16883AndesBromeliaceaeCuencaEcuadorGeoffroy's tailless bat Anoura geoffroyiMerlin Tuttle's Bat ConservationPhyllostomidaePuya nitidaSouth Americabatbat conservationcutemammalparamophotographypollinationwildlife photography