Translator Disclaimer
1 December 2002 Prey Selection by Myotis myotis (Vespertilionidae) in a Mediterranean Region
Maria João Ramos Pereira, Hugo Rebelo, Ana Rainho, Jorge M. Palmeirim
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Seasonal variations in the diet composition and prey selection by Myotis myotis were studied in a Mediterranean region dominated by open stone oak woodlands, olive groves, and cereal steppes. The diet and food abundance were determined by faecal analysis and pitfall trapping, respectively. Overall, the diet (expressed as % frequency) was dominated by carabid beetles (Carabidae, 52%), crickets (Gryllidae, 43%), and spiders (Arachnida, 34%). Food was far more abundant in the spring than in the summer and autumn. The dietary composition varied significantly throughout the year. In the spring, it was dominated by carabids and crickets, and in the summer by spiders. These were then replaced by carabids, which became the most frequently eaten prey in autumn. The spring-summer switch to spiders coincided with a marked drop in food abundance. Some of the temporal variations in bats' diet can be explained by parallel changes in prey abundance. In comparison to central European populations, our Mediterranean colony of M. myotis consumed much more crickets and spiders, which was balanced with a lower use of carabid beetles. Prey selection was tested using logistic regression models. The results suggest that, although carabids are the most consumed, crickets are preferred. Spiders seem to represent mostly a complement preyed upon at times of lower food abundance. It is not clear if the preference for crickets is simply due to their great conspicuousness, or to the choice based on energetic rewards or taste. Overall, our results are consistent with the predictions of the optimal foraging theory.

LITERATURE CITED

1.

M. E. Anderson , and P. A. Racey . 1993. Discrimination between fluttering and non-fluttering moths by brown long-eared bats, Plecotus auritus. Animal Behaviour, 46: 1151–1155. Google Scholar

2.

R. Arlettaz 1995. Ecology of the sibling mouseeared bats (Myotis myotis and Myotis blythii): zoogeography, niche, competition, and foraging. Horus Publishers Martigny, Valais, 208 pp. Google Scholar

3.

R. Arlettaz 1996. Feeding behaviour and foraging strategy of free-living mouse-eared bats, Myotis myotis and Myotis blythii. Animal Behaviour, 51 : 1–11. Google Scholar

4.

R. Arlettaz, and N. Perrin. 1995. The trophic niches of sympatric sibling Myotis myotis and Myotis blythii: do mouse-eared bats select prey? Pp. 361–376, in Ecology, evolution and behaviour of bats (P. A. Racey and S. M. Swift, eds.). Symposia of the Zoological Society of London, 67. Clarendon Press, Oxford, xxii + 421 pp. Google Scholar

5.

R. Arlettaz , N. Perrin , and J. Hausser . 1997. Trophic resource partitioning and competition between the two sibling bat species Myotis myotis and Myotis blythi (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae). Journal of Animal Ecology, 66: 897–911. Google Scholar

6.

R. Arlettaz , S. Godat , and H. Meyer . 2000. Competition for food by expanding pipistrelle bat populations (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) might contribute to the decline of lesser horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus hipposideros). Biological Conservation, 93: 55–60. Google Scholar

7.

R. Arlettaz , G. Jones , and P. A. Racey . 2001. Effect of acoustic clutter on prey detection by bats. Nature, 414: 742–745. Google Scholar

8.

M. Baez 1988. Diptera. Pp. 503–520, in Bases para un curso practico de entomología (J. A. Barrientos, ed.). Asociación Española de Entomología, Salamanca, xii + 754 pp. Google Scholar

9.

R. M. R. Barclay 1985. Long- versus short-range foraging strategies of hoary (Lasiurus cinereus) and silver-haired (Lasionycteris noctivagans) bats and the consequences for prey selection. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 63: 2507–2515. Google Scholar

10.

R. M. R. Barclay , and R. M. Brigham . 1994. Constraints on optimal foraging: a field test of prey discrimination by echolocating insectivorous bats. Animal Behaviour, 48: 1013–1021. Google Scholar

11.

J. Barrientos 1988. Araneae. Pp. 115–142, in Bases para un curso practico de entomología (J. A. Barrientos, ed.). Asociación Española de Entomología, Salamanca, xii + 754 pp. Google Scholar

12.

Z. Bauerová 1978. Contribution to the trophic ecology of Myotis myotis. Folia Zoologica, 27: 305–316. Google Scholar

13.

J. J. Belwood , and G. K. Morris . 1987. Bat predation and its influence on calling behaviour in Neotropical katydids. Science, 238: 64–67. Google Scholar

14.

V. Brack Jr ., and J. O. Whitaker JR . 2001. Foods of the northern myotis, Myotis septentrionalis, from Missouri and Indiana, with notes on foraging. Acta Chiropterologica, 3: 203–210. Google Scholar

15.

M. Chinery 1986. Insects of Britain & Western Europe. HarperCollins Publishers, London, 320 pp. Google Scholar

16.

C. R. Dickman , and C. Huang . 1988. The reliability of faecal analysis as a method for determining the diet of insectivorous mammals. Journal of Mammalogy, 69: 108–113. Google Scholar

17.

P. A. Faure , and R. M. R. Barclay . 1992. The sensory basis of prey selection by the long-eared bat, Myotis evotis, and the consequences for prey selection. Animal Behaviour, 44: 31–39. Google Scholar

18.

P. W. Freeman 1981. Correspondence of food habits and morphology in insectivorous bats. Journal of Mammalogy, 62: 166–173. Google Scholar

19.

M. D. Garcia, M. E. Clemente, and J. J. Presa. 1988. Orthoptera. Pp. 383–394, in Bases para un curso practico de entomología (J. A. Barrientos, ed.). Asociación Española de Entomología, Salamanca, xii + 754 pp. Google Scholar

20.

S. F. Gayubo 1988. Hymenoptera. Pp. 641–660, in Bases para un curso practico de entomología (J. A. Barrientos, ed.). Asociación Española de Entomología, Salamanca, xii + 754 pp. Google Scholar

21.

M. Graf , H. P. B. Stutz , and V. Ziswiler . 1992. Regionale und saisonale Unterschiede in der Nahrungzusammensetzung des Groβen Mausohrs Myotis myotis (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae) in der Schweiz. Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, 57: 193–200. Google Scholar

22.

D. W. Hosmer, and S. Lemeshow. 2000. Applied logistic regression. 2nd edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York, xii + 373 pp. Google Scholar

23.

A. M. Hutson, S. P. Mickleburgh, and P. A. Racey. (comp.). 2001. Microchiropteran bats: global status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN/SSC Chiroptera Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, x + 258 pp. Google Scholar

24.

R. Ihaka , and R. Gentleman . 1996. R: a language for data analysis and graphics. Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, 5: 299–314. Google Scholar

25.

C. J. Krebs 1989. Ecological Methodology. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, xii + 654 pp. Google Scholar

26.

T. H. Kunz 1988. Methods of assessing the availability of prey to insectivorous bats. Pp. 191–210, in Ecological and behavioral methods for the study of bats (T. H. Kunz, ed.). Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, D.C., xxii + 533 pp. Google Scholar

27.

T. H. Kunz , and J. O. Whitaker Jr . 1983. An evaluation of faecal analysis for determining food habits of insectivorous bats. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 61: 1317–1321. Google Scholar

28.

A. Lang , J. Filser , and J. R. Henschel . 1999. Pre dation by ground beetles and wolf spiders on herbivorous insects in a maize crop. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 72: 189–199. Google Scholar

29.

C. M McAney , C. B. Shiel , C. Sullivan , and J. S. Fairley . 1991. The analysis of bat droppings. Occasional Publication, The Mammal Society, London, 14: 1–48. Google Scholar

30.

P. A. Meglitsch, and F. R. Schram. 1991. Invertebrate zoology. 3rd edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford, ix + 623 pp. Google Scholar

31.

G. Neuweiler 1989. Foraging ecology and audition in echolocating bats. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 4: 160–166. Google Scholar

32.

J. M. Palmeirim 1990. Bats from Portugal: zoogeography and systematics. Miscellaneous Publications, Kansas University Museum of Natural History, 82: 1–53. Google Scholar

33.

B. Pont, and J. Moulin. 1985. Etude du régime alimentaire de Myotis myotis. Méthodologie — premiers résultats. Pp. 23–33, in Actes du 9° colloque francophone de mammalogie, les chiroptères. Société Française pour l'Etude et la Protection des Mammifères, Rouen. Google Scholar

34.

G. H. Pyke , H. R. Pulliam , and E. L. Charnov . 1977. Optimal foraging: a selective review of theory and tests. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 52: 137–154. Google Scholar

35.

J. A. Quartau, and E. Luna De Carvalho. 1998. Contribuição para o melhor conhecimento dos insectes em Portugal: chaves para a determinação das ordens. Publicações Avulsas 2a série 5, Museu Bocage, Lisboa, 23 pp. Google Scholar

36.

M. J. Roberts 1995. Spiders of Britain & Northern Europe. HarperCollins Publishers, London, 383 pp. Google Scholar

37.

J. M. Salgado, R. Outerello, P. Gamarra, M. Blas, X. Vazquez, E. Vives, and J. C. Otero. 1988. Coleoptera. Pp. 573–640, in Bases para un curso practico de entomología (J. A. Barrientos ed.). Asociación Española de Entomología, Salamanca, xii + 754 pp. Google Scholar

38.

T. W. Schoener 1971. Theory of feeding strategies. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 11: 369–104. Google Scholar

39.

C. B. Shiel , P. L. Duvergé , P. Smiddy , and J. S. Fairley . 1998. Analysis of the diet of Leisler's bat (Nyctalus leisleri) in Ireland with some comparative analyses from England and Germany. Journal of Zoology (London), 246: 417–125. Google Scholar

40.

R. R. Sokal, and F. J. Rolhf. 1995. Biometry. 3rd edition. Freeman and Company, New York, 859 pp. Google Scholar

41.

S. Swift , P. A. Racey , and M. I. Avery . 1985. Feeding ecology of Pipistrellus pipistrellus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) during pregnancy and lactation. II. Diet. Journal of Animal Ecology, 54: 217–225. Google Scholar

42.

N. Vaughan 1997. The diets of British bats (Chiroptera). Mammal Review, 27: 77–94. Google Scholar

43.

J. O. Whitaker Jr. 1988. Food habits analysis of insectivorous bats. Pp. 171–190, in Ecological and behavioral methods for the study of bats (T. H. Kunz, ed.). Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., xxii + 533 pp. Google Scholar

44.

J. O. Whitaker Jr ., and B. Lawhead . 1992. Foods of Myotis lucifugus in a maternity colony in central Alaska. Journal of Mammalogy, 73: 646–648. Google Scholar
© Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS
Maria João Ramos Pereira, Hugo Rebelo, Ana Rainho, and Jorge M. Palmeirim "Prey Selection by Myotis myotis (Vespertilionidae) in a Mediterranean Region," Acta Chiropterologica 4(2), 183-193, (1 December 2002). https://doi.org/10.3161/001.004.0207
Received: 10 August 2002; Accepted: 1 October 2002; Published: 1 December 2002
JOURNAL ARTICLE
11 PAGES


SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
Back to Top