Data on food habits of Myotis leibii (Eastern Small-footed Myotis) are scarce. We dissected 172 fecal samples collected from 75 adult (29 males and 46 females) and 2 juvenile (1 male and 1 female) Eastern Small-footed Myotis, captured in mist nets along a forested ridge in northeastern West Virginia in 2008. Fecal samples were dissected and prey items identified to the level of taxonomic order and, when possible, to family. Eastern Small-footed Myotis consumed eight orders of arthropods from 11 families. Lepidoptera (moths) composed 41.5% (±1.9 SE) of adult fecal volume and were found in samples of all 75 adults. Coleoptera (beetles) contributed 30.6 ±1.7% to adult fecal volume and were detected in samples of 97.3% of adults (n = 73). Diptera (flies) composed 16.9 ±1.9% of adult fecal volume and were found in samples of 82.7% of adults (n = 62). Fecal samples of adult females contained a higher percent volume of Lepidoptera (45.9 ± 2.4%, n = 46) than samples of adult males (34.6 ± 3.2%, n = 29). These data provide evidence of moderate dietary specialization on Lepidoptera and demonstrate dietary variation between sexes. Data also indicate Coleoptera and Diptera as important taxonomic groups in the diet of Eastern Small-footed Myotis.
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Vol. 19 • No. 4