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Revista Brasileira de Zoologia

Print version ISSN 0101-8175

Rev. Bras. Zool. vol.16 no.4 Curitiba  1999 

The diet of bats from Southeastern Brazil: the relation to echolocation and foraging behaviour



M. Brock FentonI,*; John O. Whitaker Jr.II; Maarten J. VonhofI; Jane M. WatermanI; Wagner A. PedroIII; Ludmilla M.S. AguiarIV; Júlio E. BaumgartenV; Sylvie BouchardI; Deborah M. FariaV; Christine V. PortforsVI; Naas I.L. RautenbachVII; William ScullyI; Marlon ZorteaVIII

IDepartment of Biology, York University. North York, Ontario, M3J 1P3, Canada
IIDepartment of Life Sciences, Indiana State University. Terre Haute, Indiana 47809, USA
IIIDepartamento de Apoio, Produção e Saúde Animal, Universidade Estadual Paulista. Caixa Postal 341, 16050-680 Araçatuba, São Paulo, Brasil
IVDepartamento de Ecologia, Universidade de Brasília. Campus Asa Norte, 70919-970 Brasília, Distrito Federal. Brazil
VDepartamento de Zoologia, Universidade de Campinas. Caixa Postal 6109, 13083-970 Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
VIDepartment of Neurobiology, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. 4209 State Route 44, Post Office Box 95, Rootstown, Ohio 44272-0095, USA
VIITransvaal Museum. Post Office Box 413, Pretoria, South Africa
VIIIMuseu de Biologia Professor Mello Leitão. 29650-000 Santa Teresa, Espírito Santo, Brazil




In this study the incidence of moths and beetles was examined from feces samples of bats that use different foraging behaviors. Twenty sites around the Fazenda Intervales, a Field Research Station located in São Paulo State, in southeastern Brazil were sampled. Feces were collected from bats caught in mist nets, Turtle Traps or hand nets and, in one case, from beneath a roost. Feces samples were taken from six species of bats: Micronycteris megalotis (Gray, 1842), Mimon bennettii (Gray, 1838), Furipterus horrens (F. Cuvier, 1828), Myotis riparius Handley, 1960, Myotis ruber (E. Geoffroy, 1806) and Histiotus velalus (I. Geoffroy, 1824). To record and describe the frequencies dominating bat echolocation calls, an Anabat II bat detector coupled with an Anabat ZCA interfaces and DOS laptop computers were used. The data show that Furipterus horrens feeds extensively on moths, as predicted from the features of its echolocation calls. Gleaning bats, whose echolocation calls are much less conspicuous to moths take a wide range of insect (and other) prey.

Key words: Chiroptera, diet, echolocation, foraging behaviour, southeastern Brazil.



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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. We thank E. Trajano for making the arrangements for working at Fazenda Intervales. We are grateful to D.S. Johnston for reading an earlier version of the manuscript and providing us with comments and to M.K. Obrist for sharing with us his unpublished data about the echolocation calls of Mimon betmettii. This study was supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (Canada) research grant to MBF and by a grant from a Foundation for Research Development (South Africa) grant allocated from the "Inland Resources Programme" to ILR.



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Recebido em 16.VI.1998; aceito em 29.IX.1999.



* Corresponding author: M. Brock Fenton. E-mail:

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