Bat necrophagy by a whip-spider (Arachnida, Amblypygi, Phrynidae) in a cave in the eastern Brazilian Amazon

Necrofagia de morcego por um amblipígio (Arachnida, Amblypygi, Phrynidae) em uma caverna no leste da Amazônia brasileira

Xavier PROUS Thadeu PIETROBON Mariane S. RIBEIRO Robson de A. ZAMPAULO About the authors


Amblypygids are among the main predators in the ferriferous caves in Carajás National Forest, state of Pará (Amazon region of Brazil). One of the most common amblypygid species in this region is Heterophrynus longicornis (Butler 1873), and its most frequent prey are crickets of the family Phalangopsidae, which are abundant in the caves of Pará. Because they are primarily predators, necrophagy by amblypygids is not frequent in nature, and there are only two literature records of necrophagy of bats by Amblypygi. On December 11th, 2013, we observed an individual H. longicornis eating a bat carcass in a Pará ferriferous cave. The amblypygid exhibited considerable interest in the bat’s carcass, and it did not interrupt its meal even when lamps or a camera’s flash were pointed in its direction. The availability of nutrients in the carcass must promote this opportunistic behavior in caves, especially considering the habitual scarcity of trophic resources in underground environments when compared to epigean environments.

Heterophrynus longicornis; Chiroptera; cave; feeding behavior

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