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1 October 2008 Prey Selection of Big Brown Bats (Eptesicus Fuscus) During an Emergence of 17-Year Cicadas (Magicicada Spp.)
Jonathan J. Storm, John O. Whitaker
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We examined the diet of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) during an emergence of 17-y cicadas (Magicicada spp.) in May and Jun. of 2004 in Indiana. We collected guano from a maternity colony of big brown bats and compared the diet during the cicada emergence to the diet during the same period of a non-cicada year. In contrast to previous studies, homopterans (predominantly 17-y cicadas) were a common food item (22.9–23.6% volume) during the peak of cicada abundance. Scarabaeidae (13.8–48.5%), Carabidae (7.3–36.9%) and hemipterans (19.4–29.3%) were also common prey items during the cicada emergence. Although periodical cicadas constituted a fair amount of the diet during the emergence, the dietary diversity of big brown bats during the emergence was similar to that of non-cicada years. Our results demonstrate that big brown bats forage on 17-y cicadas during a cicada emergence. However, despite the superabundance of cicadas, big brown bats do not specialize on cicadas to the relative exclusion of other prey types.

Jonathan J. Storm and John O. Whitaker "Prey Selection of Big Brown Bats (Eptesicus Fuscus) During an Emergence of 17-Year Cicadas (Magicicada Spp.)," The American Midland Naturalist 160(2), 350-357, (1 October 2008).[350:PSOBBB]2.0.CO;2
Received: 5 January 2007; Accepted: 1 February 2008; Published: 1 October 2008

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