Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


More options …
Volume 65, Issue 6


Variability of foraging and roosting activities in adult females of Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii) in different seasons

Radek Lučan
  • Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, CZ-12844, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Department of Zoology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jan Radil
  • Department of Ecology, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2010-10-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-010-0124-5


We radio-tracked fifteen reproductive females (5 pregnant, 5 lactating, 5 in post-lactation) of the Daubenton’s bat in summer 2005 in order to reveal the effect of reproductive state on their foraging and roosting activity. Spatial activity of females decreased from pregnancy to lactation and increased again in the post-lactation period. Overall time spent foraging did not differ among the three study periods. However, while pregnant and lactating females spent similar proportion of the night length foraging, females in the post-lactation period were foraging for shorter part of night. The frequency of nightly visits to roosts was highest during lactation but there was a trend towards shortening of particular visits during that period. All but one roost were in tree hollows excavated by woodpeckers in spatially restricted area of ca 0.7 km2. Tree cavities used during pregnancy were located higher on a tree trunk and had larger entrance area than the cavities used in the two later periods. Bats switched roosts every 2–3 days (range 1–8) and moved to a new roost up to 800 m apart. Pregnant females tended to switch roosts more frequently than females in the two later periods. We did not observe a significant effect of minimum nightly temperature on the activity of radio-tracked Daubenton’s bats. Therefore, we suggest that observed seasonal changes in the pattern of behaviour of Daubenton’s bat females were driven by their changing energetic demands rather than by some extrinsic factors (e.g. weather conditions).

Keywords: radio-tracking; spatial activity; Chiroptera; tree roosts; artificial roost

  • [1] Audet D. & Fenton M.B. 1988. Heterothermy and the use of torpor by the bat Eptesicus fuscus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae): a field study. Physiol. Zool. 61: 197–204. Google Scholar

  • [2] Barclay R.M.R. 1989. The effect of reproductive condition on the foraging behavior of female hoary bats, Lasiurus cinereus. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 24: 31–37. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00300115CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [3] Betts B.J. 1998. Roosts used by maternity colonies of silverhaired bats in north-eastern Oregon. J. Mammal. 79: 643–650. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1382994CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [4] Bogdanowicz W. 1994. Myotis daubentonii. Mamm. Spec. 475:1–9. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3504215CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [5] Boonman M. 2000. Roost selection by noctules (Nyctalus noctula) and Daubenton’s bats (Myotis daubentonii). J. Zool. 251: 385–389. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2000.tb01089.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.2000.tb01089.xCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [6] Catto C.M.C., Racey P.A. & Stephenson P.J. 1995. Activity patterns of the serotine (Eptesicus serotinus) at a roost in southern England. J. Zool. 235: 635–644. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1995.tb01774.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.1995.tb01774.xCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [7] Catto C.M., Hutson A.M., Racey P.A. & Stephenson P.J. 1996. Foraging behaviour and habitat use of the serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) in southern England. J. Zool. 238: 623–633. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1996.tb05418.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.1996.tb05419.xCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [8] Christe P., Arlettaz R. & Vogel P. 2000. Variation in intensity of a parasitic mite (Spinturnix myoti) in relation to the reproductive cycle and immunocompetence of its bat host (Myotis myotis). Ecol. Lett. 3: 207–212. DOI: 10.1046/j.1461-0248.2000.00142.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1461-0248.2000.00142.xCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [9] Ciechanowski M., Zając T., Biłas A. & Dunajski R. 2007. Spatiotemporal variation in activity of bat species differing in hunting tactics: effects of weather, moonlight, food abundance, and structural clutter. Can. J. Zool. 85: 1249–1263. DOI: 10.1139/Z07-090 http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/Z07-090CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [10] Dietz M. & Kalko E.K.V. 2006. Seasonal changes in daily torpor patterns of free-ranging female and male Daubenton’s bats (Myotis daubentonii). J. Comp. Physiol. 176: 223–231. Google Scholar

  • [11] Dietz M. & Kalko E. 2007. Reproduction affects flight activity in female and male Daubenton’s bats, Myotis daubentonii. Can. J. Zool. 85: 653–664. DOI: 10.1139/Z07-045 http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/Z07-045CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [12] Encarnação J.A., Dietz M. & Kierdorf U. 2004. Reproductive condition and activity pattern of male Daubenton’s bats (Myotis daubentonii) in the summer habitat. Mammal. Biol. 69: 163–172. DOI: 10.1078/1616-5047-00131 http://dx.doi.org/10.1078/1616-5047-00131CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [13] Encarnação J.A., Kierdorf U., Holweg D., Jasnoch U. & Wolters V. 2005. Sex-related differences in roost-site selection by Daubentons’s bats Myotis daubentonii during the nursery period. Mammal Rev. 35: 285–294. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2907.2005.00066.xCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [14] Encarnação J.A., Kierdorf U. & Wolters V. 2006. Seasonal variation in nocturnal activity of male Daubenton’s bats, Myotis daubentonii (Chiroptera). Folia Zool. 55: 237–246. Google Scholar

  • [15] Gaisler J., Hanák V. & Dungel J. 1979. A contribution to the population ecology of Nyctalus noctula. Acta Sci. Nat. Acad. Sci. Bohemoslov. Brno 13: 1–38. Google Scholar

  • [16] Gerell R. 1985. Tests of bat boxes for bats. Nyctalus (N.F.) 2: 181–185. Google Scholar

  • [17] Grinevitch L., Holroyd S.L. & Barclay R.M.R. 1995. Sex differences in the use of daily torpor and foraging time by big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) during the reproductive season. J. Zool. 235: 301–309. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1995.tb05146.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.1995.tb05146.xCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [18] Henry M., Thomas D.W., Vaudry R. & Carrier M. 2002. Foraging distances and home range of pregnant and lactating Little Brown Bats (Myotis lucifugus). J. Mammal. 83: 767–774. http://dx.doi.org/10.1644/1545-1542(2002)083<0767:FDAHRO>2.0.CO;2CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [19] Horáček I., Hanák V. & Gaisler J. 2000. Bats of the palearctic region: a taxonomic and biogeographic review, pp. 11–157. In: Wołoszyn B.W. (ed.), Proceedings of the VIIIth European Bat Research Symposium, Vol. I., Approaches to Biogeography and Ecology of Bats, Institute of Systematics and evolution of Animals PAS, Kraków. Google Scholar

  • [20] Hutson A.M., Mickleburgh S.P. & Racey P.A. 2001. Microchiropteran bats: global status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN/SSC Chiroptera Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK, x+258 pp. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.CH.2001.SSC-AP.1.enCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [21] Kaňuch P. 2005. Roosting and population ecology of three syntopic tree-dwelling bat species (Myotis nattereri, M. daubentonii and Nyctalus noctula). Biologia 60: 579–587. Google Scholar

  • [22] Kapfer G., Rigot T., Holsbeek L. & Aron S. 2008. Roost and hunting site fidelity of female and juvenile Daubenton’s bat Myotis daubentonii (Kuhl, 1817) (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Mammal. Biol. 73: 267–275. DOI: 10.1016/j.mambio.2007.01.001 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mambio.2007.01.001CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [23] Kerth G. & König B. 1999. Fission, fusion and nonrandom associations in female Bechstein’s bats (Myotis bechsteinii). Behaviour 136: 1187–1202. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156853999501711CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [24] Kokurewicz T. 1995. Increased population of Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii Kuhl, 1819) (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in Poland. Myotis 32–33: 155–161. Google Scholar

  • [25] Kurta A., Johnson K.A. & Kunz T.H. 1987. Oxygen consumption and body temperature of female little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) under simulated roost conditions. Physiol. Zool. 60: 386–397. Google Scholar

  • [26] Lewis S.E. 1995. Roost fidelity of bats: a review. J. Mammal. 76:481–496. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1382357CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [27] Lučan R.K. 2004. Sezónní dynamika aktivity a biotopové preference společenstva netopýoů Českobudějovické pánve [Seasonal dynamics in activity and habitat use of a bat community in the Českobudějovická pánev basin]. Vespertilio 8: 69–97. Google Scholar

  • [28] Lučan R.K. 2006. Relationships between parasitic mite Spinturnix andegavinus (Acari: Spinturnicidae) and its bat host, Myotis daubentonii (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae): seasonal, sex- and age-related variation in infestation and possible impact of parasite on the host condition and roosting behaviour. Folia Parasit. 53: 147–152. Google Scholar

  • [29] Lučan R.K., Hanák V. & Horáček I. 2009. Long-term re-use of tree roosts by European forest bats. Forest Ecol. Manag. 258: 1301–1306. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2009.06.032 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2009.06.032CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [30] Maier C. 1992. Activity patterns of pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) in Oxfordshire. J. Zool. 228: 69–80. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1992.tb04431.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.1992.tb04433.xCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [31] McLean J.A. & Speakman J.R. 1997. Non-nutritional maternal support in the brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus). Anim. Behav. 54: 1193–1204. http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/anbe.1997.0498CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [32] McNab B.K. 1982. Evolutionary alternatives in the physiological ecology of bats, pp. 151–200. In: Kunz T.H. (ed.), Ecology of Bats, Plenum Press, New York. Google Scholar

  • [33] Mitchell-Jones A.J., Amori G., Bogdanowicz W., Krystufek B., Reijnders P.J.H., Spitzenberger F., Stubbe M., Thissen J.B.M., Vohralík V. & Zima J. 1999. The Atlas of European Mammals. London, Poyser, 484 pp. Google Scholar

  • [34] Nyholm E.S. 1965. Zur Ökologie von Myotis mystacinus und Myotis daubentoni. Ann. Zool. Fenn. 2: 77–123. Google Scholar

  • [35] O’Donnell C.F.J. 2000. Influence of season, habitat, temperature, and invertebrate availability on nocturnal activity of the New Zealand long-tailed bat (Chalinolobus tuberculatus). N. Z. J. Zool. 27: 207–221. Google Scholar

  • [36] Racey P.A. 1973. Environmental factors affecting the length of gestation in heterothermic bats. J. Reprod. Fertil. (Suppl.) 19: 175–189. Google Scholar

  • [37] Racey P.A. 1982. Ecology of bat reproduction, pp. 57–104. In: Kunz T.H. (ed.), Ecology of Bats, Plenum Press, New York. Google Scholar

  • [38] Racey P.A. & Speakman J.R. 1987. The energy costs of pregnancy and lactation in heterothermic bats. Symp. Zool. Soc. Lond. 57: 107–125. Google Scholar

  • [39] Racey P.A. & Swift S.M. 1981. Variations in gestation length in a colony of pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) from year to year. J. Reprod. Fertil. 61: 123–129. http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/jrf.0.0610123CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [40] Racey P.A. & Swift S.M. 1985. Feeding ecology of Pipistrellus pipistrellus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) during pregnancy and lactation. 1. Foraging behaviour. J. Anim. Ecol. 54: 205–215. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/4631CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [41] Radil J. & Lučan R.K. 2006. [Structural and thermal parameters of roosts of dendrophilous bats], p. 248. In: Bryja J. & Zukal J. (eds), Zoologické dny Brno 2006, Sborník abstraktů z conference, Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Brno. Google Scholar

  • [42] Rieger I. 1996. Wie nutzen Wasserfledermäuse, Myotis daubentoni (Kuhl, 1817), ihre Tagesquartiere? Mammal. Biol. 61: 202–214. Google Scholar

  • [43] Ruczyński I. & Bogdanowicz W. 2005. Roost cavity selection by Nyctalus noctula and N. leisleri (Vespertilionidae, Chiroptera) in Białowieża primeval forest, eastern Poland. J. Mammal. 86: 921–930. http://dx.doi.org/10.1644/1545-1542(2005)86[921:RCSBNN]2.0.CO;2CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [44] Rudnik A. 1960. A revision of the family Spinturnicidae (Acarina). Univ. Calif. Pub. Entomol. 17: 157–284. Google Scholar

  • [45] Rydell J. 1989. Feeding activity of the northern bat Eptesicus nilssoni during pregnancy and lactation. Oecologia 80: 562–565. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00380082CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [46] Rydell J. 1993. Variation in foraging activity of aerial insectivorous bat during reproduction. J. Mammal. 74: 503–509. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1382411CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [47] Sedgeley J.A. & O’Donnell C.F.J. 2004. Roost use by long-tailed bats in South Canterbury: examining predictions of roost-site selection in a highly fragmented landscape. N. Z. J. Ecol. 28: 1–18. Google Scholar

  • [48] Shiel C.B., Shiel R.E. & Fairley J.S. 1999. Seasonal changes in the foraging behaviour of Leisler’s bats (Nyctalus leisleri) in Ireland as revealed by radio-telemetry. J. Zool. 249: 347–358. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1999.tb00770.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.1999.tb00770.xCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [49] Speakman J.R. & Thomas D.W. 2003. Physiological ecology and energetics of bats, pp. 430–490. In: Kunz T.H. & Fenton M.B. (eds), Bat Ecology, The University of Chicago Press, xix + 779 pp. Google Scholar

  • [50] Swift S.M. 1980. Activity patterns of pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) in north-east Scotland. J. Zool. 190: 285–295. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1983.tb05787.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.1980.tb01428.xCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [51] Swift S.M. & Racey P.A. 1983. Resource partitioning in two species of vespertilionid bats (Chiroptera) occupying the same roost. J. Zool. 200: 249–259. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1983.tb05787.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.1983.tb05787.xCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [52] Vonhof M.J. & Barclay R.M.R. 1996. Roost-site selection and roosting ecology of forest-dwelling bats in southern British Columbia. Can. J. Zool. 74: 1797–1805. DOI: 10.1139/z96-200 http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/z96-200CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [53] White G.C. & Garrott R.A. 1990. Analysis of Wildlife Radiotracking Data. Academic Press, Inc., San Diego, California, 383 pp. Google Scholar

  • [54] Wilde C.J., Knight C.H. & Racey P.A. 1999. Influence of torpor on milk protein composition and secretion in lactating bats. J. Exp. Zool. 284: 35–41. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-010X(19990615)284:1〈35::AID-JEZ6〉3.0.CO;2-Z http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-010X(19990615)284:1<35::AID-JEZ6>3.0.CO;2-ZCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [55] Wilde C.J., Kerr M.A., Knight C.H. & Racey P.A. 1995. Lactation in vespetilionid bats. Symp. Zool. Soc. Lond. 67: 139–149. Google Scholar

  • [56] Willis K.R. & Brigham R.M.R. 2004. Roost switching, roost sharing and social cohesion: forest-dwelling big brown bats, Eptesicus fuscus, conform to the fission-fusion model. Anim. Behav. 68: 495–505. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2003.08.028 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2003.08.028CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [57] Zahn A. & Hager I. 2005. A cave-dwelling colony of Myotis daubentonii in Bavaria, Germany. Mammal. Biol. 70: 250–254. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mambio.2005.01.002CrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2010-10-15

Published in Print: 2010-12-01

Citation Information: Biologia, Volume 65, Issue 6, Pages 1072–1080, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, ISSN (Print) 0006-3088, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-010-0124-5.

Export Citation

© 2010 Slovak Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Anna-Lena Hammarin, Louise Treiberg Berndtsson, Kerstin Falk, Marie Nedinge, Gert Olsson, and Åke Lundkvist
Infection Ecology & Epidemiology, 2016, Volume 6, Number 1, Page 31262
Thongchai Ngamprasertwong, Stuart B. Piertney, Iain Mackie, and Paul A. Racey
Acta Chiropterologica, 2014, Volume 16, Number 2, Page 337
Susan C Loeb, Eric A Winters, Marion E Glaser, Marian L Snively, Kevin S Laves, and Jessica K Ilse
Northwestern Naturalist, 2014, Volume 95, Number 3, Page 264
Tiina Nokireki, Anita Huovilainen, Thomas Lilley, Eeva-Maria Kyheröinen, Christine Ek-Kommonen, Liisa Sihvonen, and Miia Jakava-Viljanen
BMC Veterinary Research, 2013, Volume 9, Number 1, Page 174
Karl Frafjord
Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, 2013, Volume 78, Number 3, Page 205

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in