Individual recognition via olfactory, auditory, or visual cues is crucial for animals to form and maintain stable social groups, particularly in large colonies such as those of Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus). We tested whether Egyptian fruit bats are able to distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics, using two captive groups of male bats. We recorded the behavioural and auditory responses of focal animals in a binary choice experiment in which they could approach either members of their own social group or unfamiliar individuals. In general, bats preferred to stay close to other bats, familiar or unfamiliar, over resting alone and spent more time in close proximity to members of their own group than to unfamiliar conspecifics. The majority of bats interacted more with the unfamiliar individuals, although this result did not reach significance. We conclude that Egyptian fruit bats are able to distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics. Since only one individual emitted social calls and bats never produced echolocation calls during the experiment, we infer that individual recognition was most likely mediated via olfactory and/or visual cues. The ability to identify familiar individuals may indicate that males of Egyptian fruit bats form stable groups within their large colonies.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 13 • No. 2