Unia Europejska

foto Piotr Ślipiński

Acta Chiropterologica, 5(2): 165-175, 2003


Phylogeography of Barbastelle bats (Barbastella barbastellus)

in the western Mediterranean and the Canary Islands


Javier Juste1, Carlos Ibáńez1, Domingo Trujillo2, Joaquín Muńoz1,

and Manuel Ruedi3


1Estación Biológica de Dońana (CSIC), P.O. Box 1056, 41080 Sevilla, Spain; E-mail of JJ: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2C/El Durazno 47, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain

3Natural History Museum, P.O. Box 6434, 1211 Geneva 6, Switzerland


We use two mitochondrial DNA fragments with different substitution rates (cytochrome b gene and the control region) to address the following phylogeographic questions about western Palaearctic populations of the barbastelle bat (Barbastella barbastellus): 1) Do the Iberian populations of barbastelles show any genetic discontinuity associated with its present fragmented distribution?, 2) Is the Gibraltar Strait an effective barrier to gene flow for barbastelles? and 3) Is the subspecies from the Canary Islands genetically distinct from continental barbastelles? Our molecular survey shows that there is only a shallow genetic structure among populations of the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco, and probably, even across Europe until Thrace, although this last point needs to be confirmed. The Gibraltar Strait has not played any significant role as a biogeographic barrier to prevent the recent passage of European barbastelles to Morocco (or vice versa). Our phylogenetic reconstructions also confirm the taxonomic distinction of B. barbastellus guanchae as an endemic subspecies confined to the Canary Islands. The precise origin of this Canarian taxon is, nevertheless, still unclear as its mitochondrial lineage is distinct from any lineage found so far in Morocco and Iberia. This important genetic distinctness suggests either a relatively ancient colonization of the Canary Islands or that the source population of the founders have not yet been identified.


Key words: Barbastella, Mediterranean, Canary Islands, phylogeography, cytochrome b, control region,

                colonization, mitochondrial DNA, Gibraltar Strat


Acta Chiropterologica, 5(2): 177-184, 2003


Does a live barn owl (Tyto alba) affect emergence behavior

of serotine bats (Eptesicus serotinus)?


Klára J. Petrželková1, 2 and Jan Zukal1, 2


1Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Květná 8, Brno CZ-60365,

Czech Republic; E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2Department of Zoology and Ecology, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, Brno CZ-61137, Czech Republic


We studied the impact of predation risk on emergence behavior of a maternity colony of Eptesicus serotinus. Observations were made during sets of three consecutive nights - control, treatment and post-treatment. On treatment nights, a trained individual of barn owl (Tyto alba) was displayed during the emergence of the colony. Presence of the owl did not induce any significant change in the emergence parameters with exception of the degree of clustering. In pregnancy bats increased their clustering during treatment and post-treatment nights. The presence of the owl induced changes in relationships among emergence parameters. If bats emerged earlier when predation risk supposed to be higher, they increased their degree of clustering to decrease the individuals' probability of being attacked. We conclude that clustering in emergence is an important anti-predation strategy.


Key words: Eptesicus serotinus, Tyto alba, emergence, predation risk, reproduction


Acta Chiropterologica, 5(2): 185-192, 2003


Azorean bats Nyctalus azoreum, cluster as they emerge

from roosts, despite the lack of avian predators


Nancy R. Irwin1, 2 and John R. Speakman1


1School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, Great Britain

2Present address: University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Qeensland 4072, Australia

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We tested the hypothesis that clustering in the behaviour of emerging bats is a response to the risk of avian predation. We hypothesised that if avian predation was the cause of clustering, bats in the prolonged absence of avian predators, would not cluster or would cluster less during their emergences. We studied the Azorean bat (Nyctalus azoreum) in the Azores Archipelago. The Azores have a depauperate fauna with no raptorial birds likely to predate bats. The Azorean bat is an endemic mammal to the archipelago, which has an unusually extensive degree of diurnal activity that has been hypothesised to reflect release from the risk of diurnal predation by raptors. Contrary to our prediction Azorean bats clustered during emergence to the same extent as bat species which occur where there are raptors. Two interpretations of these data are possible. First, the hypothesis that the behaviour is anti-predatory may be incorrect. Most of the variation in clustering was explained by variation in ambient temperature possibly suggesting the bats emerged in groups to aid exploitation of sparsely distributed food.  Alternatively, the behaviour may be anti-predatory, but the key factor precipitating clustering may not be the risk from aerial predators, but terrestrial predators, such as rats (Rattus norvegicus) and cats (Felis cattus), both of which were common around the roost sites.


Key words: clustering, emergence, behaviour, bats, predation, group-feeding


Acta Chiropterologica, 5(2): 193-198, 2003


Evidences of piscivory by Myotis capaccinii (Bonaparte, 1837)

in Southern Iberian Peninsula


José R. Aihartza1, Urtzi Goiti1, David Almenar2, and Inazio Garin1


1Zoologia eta Animali Zelulen Biologia Saila, UPV, 644 PK, E-48080 Bilbo, Basque Country

E-mail of JRA: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2Department of Evolutionary Biology, Estación Biológica de Donana (CSIC), Avenida María Luisa s/n,

Pabellón del Perú, E-41013 Sevilla, Spain


Faeces of Myotis capaccinii were collected from four individuals netted in a spring colony in Denia, Alicante (south-eastern Iberian Peninsula). Faecal analysis revealed the presence of fish scales and bones in all droppings examined (two pellets for each individual, i.e., n = 8), with volumes ranging 6-82.5 % of prey remains. Remains of Diptera and Trichoptera were also found. These data provide the first evidence of piscivory in M. capaccinii, and reveal that this may be an important feeding behaviour in this species, at least locally and/or seasonally.


Key words: Myotis capaccinii, diet, piscivory, Iberia


Acta Chiropterologica, 5(2): 199-208, 2003


A prospective power analysis and review of habitat characteristics

used in studies of tree-roosting bats


Michael J. Lacki and Michael D. Baker


Department of Forestry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA; E-mail of MJL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We identified 25 studies published between 1988 and 2001 that measured characteristics of roosting sites of tree-roosting bats, and where measures were compared to characteristics of random or available locations. The most frequently measured habitat characteristics were roost-tree diameter (n = 23), roost-tree height (21), roost-tree canopy cover (16), roost height (14), and slope (10). Habitat characteristics of the roost tree itself were measured more frequently than stand or landscape characteristics; a total of 31 different habitat characteristics was used to describe stand or landscape conditions as opposed to 23 different habitat characteristics used to describe features of the roost tree. The overall mean (± SE) number of habitat characteristics examined per study was 8.0 ± 1.1, with an average of 4.2 ± 0.7 characteristics reported to be significant (P < 0.05). Mean estimated effect size, or the absolute value of the difference between means divided by the population standard deviation,  of habitat characteristics ranged from 0.83 to 1.52. A sample size of 11 radio-tagged bats was sufficient to achieve acceptable power, i.e., 0.80, for all habitat characteristics examined when only using the upper limit of the 95% confidence intervals for estimated effect sizes. In contrast, a sample size of 39 radio-tagged bats was sufficient in achieving the same level of power for only 50% of the habitat characteristics evaluated at the lower end of the 95% confidence intervals. We encourage researchers to conduct pilot studies, and estimate effect sizes and variances to assess the level of sampling effort required to evaluate habitat characteristics in studies of tree-roosting bats.

Key words: bats, effect size, habitat, power analysis, sample size, tree roosts, variance


Acta Chiropterologica, 5(2): 209-219, 2003


Echolocation performance and call structure in the megachiropteran fruit-bat Rousettus aegyptiacus

Dean Andrew Waters1 and Claudia Vollrath2


1School of Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, Great Britain; E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2Institut für Zoologie (Biologie I), Arbeitsgruppe Verhaltensökologie, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Haupstrasse 1, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany


The structure of the calls made by the echolocating fruit bat Rousettus aegyptiacus while flying within a flight tunnel were investigated. Calls are impulsive clicks lasting around 250 ľs, with most energy occurring during the first 100 ľs. Such a call duration is much shorter than that previously reported for this species. The ability of R. aegyptiacus to detect and avoid obstacles was tested in both the light and total darkness. Bats were able to detect and avoid 6 mm diameter wires significantly more often than 1.3 mm diameter wires when tested in the light. In the dark, the same relationship held, with no decrease in the ability to detect and avoid the obstacles. Bats used echolocation in both the light and the dark conditions. The simple impulsive clicks used in echolocation by this species are thus able to detect wires of at least 6 mm in diameter and probably smaller. The detection problems associated with very short duration signals is discussed. The possession of both a good visual system, and a good echolocation system in this species has implications for the evolution of echolocation in bats.


Key words: echolocation, Rousettus, bat evolution


Acta Chiropterologica, 5(2): 221-234, 2003


Ultrasound social calls made by greater horseshoe bats

(Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) in a nursery roost


Margaret M. Andrews1 and Peter T. Andrews2


1School of Biomolecular Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF,

United Kingdom; E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2Department of Physics, Liverpool University, Liverpool L69 5BX, United Kingdom

Ultrasound calls made by adult Rhinolophus ferrumequinum in a nursery roost were recorded using a time expansion detector with a microphone on an extension cable. Initial analysis showed that in addition to the echolocation calls at 81-84 kHz there were ultrasound calls at lower frequencies. Simultaneous recordings of ultrasound and low frequency signals (1-10 kHz) showed that echolocation pulses, ultrasound social calls and low frequency social calls were quite distinct in both duration, frequency and number of calls. Twelve types of ultrasound social calls were identified. The majority of calls were in the range 20-29 kHz and 1-49 ms duration. Variability was found in the relative power of the fundamental and harmonics of the calls. This analysis has identified a substantial repertoire of calls used by R. ferrumequinum in a nursery roost colony. The possibility of the use of a male advertisement call in the roost is discussed.


Key words: Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, ultrasound social calls, low frequency social calls, nursery roost


Acta Chiropterologica, 5(2): 235-241, 2003

Another quantitative measure of bat species activity and sampling

intensity considerations for the design of ultrasonic

monitoring studies


Hugh G. Broders


New Brunswick Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, E3B 6E1, Canada; E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Present address: Department of Biology, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, NS, B3H 3C3, Canada


To date, much of the research that has used ultrasonic detectors as a tool to address questions on the spatial and temporal distribution of bat species activity have been limited by the lack of a reliable and quantifiable unit of activity, and a poor understanding of sampling intensity required to accurately assess site-specific activity levels. Here it is demonstrated that file size (i.e., bytes) of Anabat-recorded echolocation sequences of the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) was highly correlated with the number of calls, and was easily determined, and therefore represents a reliable and quantifiable unit of echolocation activity. Additionally, it is shown that accurate quantification of a site-specific magnitude of M. lucifugus activity may not be possible, even with

a sampling intensity of up to 20 nights. As a result, ultrasonic monitoring studies must be designed to minimize the effects of the high variability in bat species activity at a site among nights.


Key words: Anabat, echolocation, index, Myotis lucifugus, research design, sampling intensity


Acta Chiropterologica, 5(2): 243-250, 2003


Presence of Plecotus macrobullaris (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae)

in the Pyrenees


Inazio Garin1, Juan L. García-Mudarra2, José R. Aihartza1, Urtzi Goiti1,

and Javier Juste2


1Zoologia eta Animali Zelulen Dinamika Saila, UPV, 644 PK, E-48080 Bilbo, Basque Country

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2Department of Evolutionary Biology, Estación Biológica de Dońana (CSIC), Avenida María Luisa s/n,

Pabellón del Perú, E-41013 Sevilla, Spain


In July 2002, several bats of the genus Plecotus (Geoffroy, 1818) were captured at two localities of 'Ordesa y Monte Perdido' National Park (Central Pyrenees, Spain). They showed external characters that appeared intermediate between those of P. auritus and P. austriacus. Morphometric and genetic analysis have revealed that these long-eared bats should be ascribed to the recently recognized species P. macrobullaris. This study extends the distribution of this new species, whose western limit was considered, until now, to lie in the Alps, and adds a new mammal species to the Iberian fauna.


Key words: Plecotus macrobullaris, distribution, Pyrenees, mtDNA, morphology


Acta Chiropterologica, 5(2): 251-267, 2003


Bats of Nevis, northern Lesser Antilles


Scott C. Pedersen1, Hugh H. Genoways2, Mathew N. Morton3, James W. Johnson4,

and Siân E. Courts5


1South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota 57007, USA; E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2University of Nebraska State Museum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588, USA

3c/o 22 Kensal Avenue, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 4QY, United Kingdom

4Whitehall, Parish of St. James, Nevis, Eastern Caribbean

5Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Trinity, Jersey, JE3 5BP, United Kingdom


Only one species of bat, Molossus molossus, previously has been documented as occurring on the northern Lesser Antillean island of Nevis. Field research and reviews of existing museum collections have provided documentation based on voucher specimens for an additional seven species occurring on the island - Noctilio leporinus, Brachyphylla cavernarum, Monophyllus plethodon, Ardops nichollsi, Artibeus jamaicensis, Natalus stramineus, and Tadarida brasiliensis. The biological diversity of the chiropteran fauna on Nevis is similar to that found on other islands in the northern Lesser Antilles. Ecologically, this is a simple chiropteran fauna, including one piscivore (N. leporinus), one omnivore (B. cavernarum), one pollenivore/nectivore (M. plethodon), two frugivores (A. nichollsi, A. jamaicensis), and three insectivorous species (N. stramineus, T. brasiliensis, M. molossus). Species-area and species-elevation analyses for the chiropteran fauna of the Greater and Lesser Antillean islands gave r2-values of 0.74 and 0.33, respectively. In the species-area analysis the bat fauna of Nevis falls above the regression line and in the species-elevation analysis it falls almost on the line. The chiropteran fauna of Nevis lies outside the Lesser Antillean Faunal Core and would be best characterized as a generalized Lesser Antillean fauna that appears to be characteristic of the northern Lesser Antilles.


Key words: Chiroptera, biogeography, ecology, systematics, island, Nevis, West Indies


Acta Chiropterologica, 5(2): 269-276, 2003


Short Notes


First description of a tent used by Platyrrhinus helleri

(Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae)


Jose G. Tello and Paul M. Velazco


Department of Zoology, The Field Museum, Chicago, IL 60605, USA, and Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA; E-mail of JGT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Key words: Manu, Peru, roost, tent, Platyrrhinus helleri, Eirmocephala megaphylla


Leaf modifying behavior in Artibeus lituratus


Mariana Muńoz-Romo1, 2 and Emilio A. Herrera1


1Departamento de Estudios Ambientales, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Apartado 89.000,

Caracas 1080-A, Venezuela

2Grupo de Ecología Animal B, Departamento de Biología, Universidad de Los Andes, Apartado 786,

Mérida, Estado Mérida, Venezuela; E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Key words: Artibeus lituratus, leaf modification, tent-making behavior, roosts, Venezuela