Acta Chiropterologica, 4(2): 107-120, 2002
Craseonycteris thonglongyai (Chiroptera: Craseonycteridae) is
a rhinolophoid: molecular evidence from cytochrome b
Pavel Hulva and Ivan Horąček
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Vinična 7, 128 44, Prague, Czech Republic;
Craseonycteris thonglongyai (Chiroptera: Craseonycteridae), an enigmatic taxon which shares morphological traits with both Rhinopomatidae and Emballonuridae was for the first time investigated with the aid of molecular phylogenetic techniques. Three methods of phylogenetic inference, parsimony, maximum-likelihood, and Bayesian phylogenetics were used. Based on 402 bp of DNA sequence from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, placement of Craseonycteridae within the superfamily Rhinolophoidea was demonstrated. Our results also suggest close proximity of Craseonycteridae to Hipposideridae rather than to Rhinopomatidae, close relationships between Megadermatidae and Rhinolophidae, sister group position of Pteropodidae to Rhinolophoidea, and closer affiliation of Nycteridae with the infraorder Yangochiroptera. Spectral analysis was in agreement with all these outcomes except for closer relationships of Craseonycteris with Rhinopomatidae.
Key words: Craseonycteris, Craseonycteridae, cytochrome b, phylogeny, Rhinolophoidea
Acta Chiropterologica, 4(2): 121-135, 2002
A new species of long-eared bat (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae)
from Sardinia (Italy)
Mauro Mucedda1, Andreas Kiefer2, Ermanno Pidinchedda1, and Michael Veith2
2Institute of Zoology, Department of Ecology, Mainz University, Saarstraße 21, D-55099 Mainz, Germany
We describe a new species of long eared bat, genus Plecotus, from the island of Sardinia (Italy). The new species is clearly distinguishable from other European Plecotus species by its mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene (4.1-9.6% sequence divergence from other European Plecotus spp.) as well as by a unique combination of morphological characters such as brownish colour of dorsal pelage, a relatively large thumb and thumb claw, an almost cylindrical form of the penis and the characteristic shape of the baculum. Morphological diagnostic characters are a relatively long (≥ 18mm) and wide (≥ 6mm) tragus. The new species is currently known from three localities on Sardinia. In addition to the new species we discovered a lineage of P. auritus which is substantially differentiated from continental P. auritus at subspecific level (1.2-2.7% of sequence divergence of the 16S rRNA gene). The existence of these two endemic bat taxa on Sardinia highlights the island's importance in the conservation of the European bat community.
Key words: Plecotus sp. nov., Plecotus auritus, Plecotus austriacus, long-eared bat, Sardinia, DNA sequence analysis, 16S rRNA, morphology, conservation
Acta Chiropterologica, 4(2): 137-152, 2002
Behaviour of the black flying fox Pteropus alecto:
1. An ethogram of behaviour, and preliminary characterisation
of mother-infant interactions
Nicola Markus1 and Judith K. Blackshaw2
1 Veterinary Pathology and Anatomy, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
2School of Veterinary Science and Animal Production, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
The black flying fox Pteropus alecto is one of four species of flying fox found on the Australian mainland. Little information exists about the specific behaviour of this species, and no framework for the study of its behaviour has yet been constructed. In the study reported here, two P. alecto colonies were observed at two day roosts in South East Queensland, Australia, between 1998-2000. Observations focused on solitary and social actions in general and on mother-infant interactions in some detail and led to the construction of an ethogram that defines each action structurally and functionally, describing accompanying vocalisations where appropriate. Diurnal activity patterns of P. alecto throughout the year consisted predominantly of roosting, grooming and sleeping, and involved little social activity. Social interactions were largely restricted to the seasonal contexts of the birthing/rearing period of October to March and the subsequent courtship/mating season of February to April. In all, 74 behavioural units were defined with the aim of facilitating further research and the implementation of effective conservation strategies for the species.
Key words: Pteropus alecto, Australia, behaviour, ethogram, birth, maternal interactions
Acta Chiropterologica, 4(2): 153-166, 2002
Behaviour of the black flying fox Pteropus alecto:
2. Territoriality and courtship
Veterinary Pathology and Anatomy, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
Flying foxes are commonly thought of as highly social mammals, yet little is known about the dynamics of their social interactions at a day roost. The aim of the present study was to examine the nature of the seasonal activities of territoriality and courtship amongst wild flying foxes in Australia. Focal observations were conducted at two permanent roosts of black flying foxes Pteropus alecto during periods of peak social interaction in the summers of 1999 and 2000 in urban Brisbane, Queensland. Observations of male territoriality were conducted at dawn and began eight weeks prior to the commencement of mating. The majority of defense bouts (87%) consisted of ritualised pursuit, while 13% of bouts involved physical contact expressed as either wrestling or hooking. One male with an unusually large territory took significantly longer to defend it than other males with less territory to defend. Observations of courtship revealed repetitive courtship sequences, including pre-copulatory approaches by the males, copulation attempts and grooming/resting periods. Thirty-four complete courtship sequences incorporating 135 copulation attempts were recorded over two seasons. Females actively resisted courtship approaches by males, forcing males to display a continuous determination to mate over time where determination can be considered an indicator of 'fitness'..the courtship bout length of females with suckling young was significantly longer (xśr ± SE; 230.9 ± 22.16 s) than that of females unencumbered by large pups (158.5 ± 9.69 s), as was the length of copulation bouts (233.4 ± 22.45 versus 158.5 ± 9.69 s).
Key words: Pteropus alecto, Australia, territorial defense, courtship, mating
Acta Chiropterologica, 4(2): 167-171, 2002
Greater short-nosed fruit bat (Cynopterus sphinx) foraging
and damage in vineyards in India
Chelmala Srinivasulu and Bhargavi Srinivasulu
The Greater short-nosed fruit bat Cynopterus sphinx (Vahl, 1797) is one among the 14 species of Old World fruit bats occurring in the Indian subcontinent and has been recently reported to cause economic loss to commercial fruit crops. We studied the temporal patterns of foraging and magnitude of loss caused by C. sphinx in Andhra Pradesh, India. Observations carried out over a period of 36 nights in 1-ha plots of vineyards revealed that the species foraged in groups of 2-8 individuals with two peaks in foraging activity reflecting their behavioural adaptability in response to food quality and quantity. The magnitude of loss due to foraging of C. sphinx gradually decreased from the periphery of the plot to the centre. Along the periphery the extent of damage was > 90%. No damage was recorded in the central regions of either plots. Greater short-nosed fruit bat foraging in vineyards cause a revenue loss of ca. US$ 590 ha-1.
Key words: Chiroptera, Cynopterus sphinx, foraging, vineyards, temporal patterns, India
Acta Chiropterologica, 4(2): 173-182, 2002
Feeding habits of the endangered Ozark big-eared bat
(Corynorhinus townsendii ingens) relative to prey abundance
David M. Leslie, Jr.1, 2 and Brenda S. Clark1
1United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, 404 Life Sciences West, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 78078, USA
Feeding habits of the endangered Ozark big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii ingens) in eastern Oklahoma, USA, were studied from July 1987 through July 1988. Diets were determined from microscopic analysis of fecal pellets and compared with arthropods collected in Malaise traps. Although lepidopterans comprised only 21.5% of the available prey, they occurred in > 90% of the pellets examined and accounted for > 85% of the volume of prey consumed. Dipterans, coleopterans, and homopterans occurred in 18.3%, 10.6%, and 6.7% of the feces, respectively, but each accounted for < 5% of the volume of prey consumed. Trichopterans, hymenopterans, and neuropterans also were found in feces but in trace amounts. Our results support the classification of C. t. ingens as a moth specialist, but additional insights are needed to fully understand how its feeding tactics conform to the allotonic frequency hypothesis (i.e., avoiding detection by eared moths). Conservation of this highly endangered North American bat will require, in part, maintenance of habitats capable of supporting abundant populations of Lepidoptera.
Key words: feces, feeding habits, endangered species, Ozark big-eared bat, Oklahoma, Lepidoptera, prey abundance, allotony
Acta Chiropterologica, 4(2): 183-193, 2002
Prey selection by Myotis myotis (Vespertilionidae)
in a Mediterranean region
Maria João Ramos Pereira1, Hugo Rebelo1, Ana Rainho1,
and Jorge M. Palmeirim2
1Instituto da ConservaŻão da Natureza, Rua Filipe Folque, n. º 46, 1º 1050-114 Lisboa, Portugal;
Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
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.
Key words: Myotis myotis, diet, prey selection, Mediterranean, Chiroptera
Acta Chiropterologica, 4(2): 195-199, 2002Directionality of drinking passes by bats at water holes:
is there cooperation?
Rick A. Adams1 and James A. Simmons2
2Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA
In 2000 and 2001, we used an infrared imaging system to film the drinking behaviors of bats at high-use water holes outside Boulder, Colorado. We recorded for two hours on each of four nights at two water hole sites, Stockton Cabin (SC) and Bear Creek (BC), known to be high in bat visitation and small enough to allow filming of the entire hole from a single position. A total of 855 drinking passes was observed: 417 and 438 in SC and BC, respectively. Of these, 814, or 95.2%, of all drinking passes occurred from a particular directional pathway (dominant approach pathway) at each site, with a mere 1.3% occurring from the immediately opposite direction, and 3.5% occurring from a direction convergent with, but not opposite to, the dominant approach path. At both sites, the direction of the dominant approach path was against stream-flow. The strict directionality of drinking passes portrayed at the water's surface was in stark contrast to activity above the water hole where no directionality of flight could be discerned, even when dozens of bats were circling together. We hypothesize that bats use unidirectional coordination of drinking passes to lessen the chance of collisions and/or to avoid the energetic expense of collision avoidance.
Key words: bats, behavior, cooperation, water resources, Colorado
Acta Chiropterologica, 4(2): 201-215, 2002
Geographic variation in the echolocation calls of Vespadelus spp. (Vespertilionidae) from New South Wales and Queensland, AustraliaBradley Stuart Law1, Linda Reinhold2, and Michael Pennay3
1Research and Development Division, State Forests of New South Wales, P.O. Box 100, Beecroft,
2Forest Management Division, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Zoology Laboratory,
80 Meiers Rd, Indooroopilly, QLD 4068, Australia
3Western Regional Assessment Unit, New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service,
P.O. Box 2111, Dubbo, NSW 2830, Australia
We investigated the extent of geographic variation in the echolocation calls of five species of microchiropteran Vespadelus in eastern Australia. Bat calls were recorded with Anabat II detectors and computers and analysed using Analook software. A single call parameter, characteristic frequency (the frequency at the end of the flattest part of the call), was used to document changes in echolocation calls over geographic distance. For V. vulturnus and V. regulus, changes in call frequency were abrupt and sizeable (up to 14 kHz), with two or three frequency groups present within each species. In V. darlingtoni, the changes in frequency were gradual across their range, with an isolated island population resembling the closest region on the mainland. One species examined here, V. troughtoni, had calls that were consistent throughout its range. Calls of V. pumilus were also consistent across geographic regions except for at one site (Chichester State Forest). At this site calls occupied only the upper end of the species frequency range. Body size, measured as forearm length for each species, was significantly smaller at inland sites, but did not vary with latitude or consistently with intraspecific call variation. Broad patterns and possible causes of geographic variation in call frequency are discussed. We conclude that confident identifications of Vespadelus calls from the geographic regions outlined in this paper will only be made with reference calls collected from the relevant regions.
Key words: bats, Chiroptera, Vespadelus, search phase calls, geographic variation, Anabat
Acta Chiropterologica, 4(2): 217-220, 2002
Short NotesFirst record of Centronycteris maximiliani (Fischer, 1829) from Peru
and two additional records of C. centralis Thomas, 1912
from the southeastern part of the country
Christine L. Hice1 and Sergio Solari2
2Museo de Historia Natural, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru
Key words: Chiroptera, Peru, new records, Centronycteris
The publication dates of Plecotus alpinus Kiefer & Veith 2002
and of Plecotus microdontus Spitzenberger 2002
Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Senckenberganlage 25, D-60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany;
Key words: Chiroptera, Plecotus alpinus, Plecotus microdontus, priority