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Diet composition and foraging activity of Pipistrellus pygmaeus in a floodplain forest

1Institute of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University, Kotlářská, CZ-61137, Brno, Czech Republic

2The Silva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Ornamental Gardening, Květnové nám. 391, CZ-252 34, Průhonice, Czech Republic

© 2008 Slovak Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citation Information: Biologia. Volume 63, Issue 2, Pages 266–272, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, ISSN (Print) 0006-3088, DOI: 10.2478/s11756-008-0034-y, March 2008

Publication History

Published Online:
2008-03-27

Abstract

In 2000–2002 bat droppings were collected under the emerging crevice of a nursery colony of Pipistrellus pygmaeus. The locality was situated in a floodplain forest at the confluence of the Dyje and Morava rivers (S Moravia, Czech Republic). In total, 27 samples (20 pellets in one sample) of droppings were used to analyze prey remains. In the diet, 40 taxonomic groups of invertebrates were found. As expected, small dipteran insects were the main food item in which Nematocera dominated. Besides Chironomidae and Ceratopogonidae also a high percentage of nematoceran eggs were recorded. Surprisingly, a relatively high percentage of Brachycera was recorded. Further frequent prey items belonged to the orders of Trichoptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera and Sternorrhyncha. A heterodyne bat detector was used to follow foraging activity of P. pygmaeus on line transects in forest and water habitats in the vicinity of the colony. A significant decrease in foraging activity over water habitats and in forest sites during the late pregnancy (mid-May — early June) and an increase during the lactation and post-lactation periods (mid-June — early August) were found. Changes in the frequency of occurrence of Chironomidae, Neuroptera, Trichoptera, Aphidinea and Simuliidae were correlated with the bats’ foraging activity.

Keywords: prey; droppings; bats; foraging activity

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