We isolated, amplified, and sequenced the mtDNA from insect fragments found in the feces of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) caught in apple orchards, to determine whether the bats were consuming prey of economic interest, especially common pests of apples. Comparison of sequences to those in a reference database (Barcode of Life Database) allowed identification of 58 sequences from 40 bats to the level of family, genus, or species; 40 (69%) of the 58 sequences of insects matched to species, 6 (10%) to only genus, and 12 (21%) to only family. Forty-nine (84%) of the 58 matches, from 34 (85%) of the 40 bats, were to taxa within the order Coleoptera and most represented taxa within the family Carabidae; other orders included Diptera, Ephemeroptera, and Hymenoptera. Eighteen different species were identified, including several important pests, such as various mosquitoes (Aedes), the spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata), and pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum), although no pests specific to apples were discovered.
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