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Diet and Foraging Strategies of Taiwanese woolly bat (Kerivoula sp.) at Bailan, Hsinchu
Taiwanese woolly bat,Kerivoula,diet,food-resource,bamboo forest,spider,gleaning,
|Publication Year :||2006|
Since July, 2003 to April, 2005, we trapped Taiwanese woolly bats (Kerivoula sp.) at three sites (upper bamboo forest site, lower bamboo forest site and broad-leaf forest site) in Bailan, Hsinchu to study the main type of their foraging habitats at Bailan and the relationships between the habitats and food resource. The diet of Taiwanese woolly bat was revealed by analysing feces from captured individuals and we further investigated the relationships between the bats’ dietary variation and the fluctuation of food-resource.
Besides, we examined selection of prey size by Taiwanese woolly bat and tried to deduce height level of their foraging zone within the habitats and their preying mode.
During this research, we captured significantly more Taiwanese woolly bats at upper bamboo forest site than broad-leaf forest site; however, the quantities of the important food-resource of the bats at the bamboo forest site were not greater than that at broad-leaf forest. Perhaps the quantity of food-resource was not the most important factor leading to the phenomenon that Taiwanese woolly bat appeared more often at bamboo forest site than broad-leaf forest site.
Taiwanese woolly bat ate 19 prey items (18 arthropod orders), of which 11 items have no wings or poor flying ability. These 11 items comprised 68.0% of the relative importance of their diet. The most important food item of Taiwanese woolly bat was spider (Araneae) comprising 93.9% of the frequency of occurrence and 32.7% of the relative importance of diet. These results indicated that gleaning is the bats’ main preying mode.
Within bamboo forest, there were fewer quantities of spiders and beetles in autumn than summer, and such condition also occurred in the diet of the bats. Diet breadth, numbers of prey items and ranges of prey size all increased in autumn. We suggested that Taiwanese woolly bats would be less selective on food when spiders and beetles were rare during autumn. The less food-selection also resulted in the increase of numbers of prey items.
Taiwanese woolly bat tended to select the prey size larger than 4.0mm, 4.1 to 6.0mm was the most common range of prey size. The important prey items of Taiwanese woolly bats were more similar to food-resource at bushes than to that at median or upper level within bamboo forest. We suggested Taiwanese woolly bat at Bailan forages mainly at bushes in bamboo forests.
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