Here we expand our previous study to provide more detailed information on the relationship between the male eastern sucker-footed bat Myzopoda aurita and the traveler's tree Ravenala madagascariensis in south-eastern Madagascar, during six month-long field work sessions carried out over two years. We caught 593 bats, 229 newly caught and 364 recaptures, exclusively males, roosting in 37 day roosts in the partially unfurled central leaves of R. madagascariensis. No bats were found in any other roosting situation. To analyse potential roost availability, we monitored partially unfurled central leaves on R. madagascarienis on four transects and 12% appeared suitable as M. aurita roosts. These leaves took three to 25 days to unfurl, and roosts became available between one and 19 days after unfurling commenced. Day roosts were occupied for one to 12 days. Bats were more likely to occupy roosts in taller trees. The size of roosting groups varied between one and 36 individuals. Movements of bats between roosts were recorded on 35 occasions and between two and nine individuals of M. aurita found in one roost were subsequently found together in a different roost. Myzopoda aurita occurs in degraded forests and anthropogenic habitats of eastern Madagascar where it may be affected by loss of roosts since R. madagascariensis is used extensively for building and thatching houses.
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Vol. 17 • No. 1