The diet of four species of horseshoe bat (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) in a mountainous region of Algeria: evidence for gleaning
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Laboratory of Ecology and Environment, Department of biological sciences of environment, Faculty of Nature Sciences and Life, Abderrahmane Mira University, Bejaia
Publication date: 2013-09-09
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2013;24(2):174-176

We analyzed the diet of four rhinolophids (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, R. hipposideros, R. euryale and R. blasii) in the region of Kabylia Babors, in northern Algeria. Between March 2007 and January 2008 we sampled droppings at ten sites and carried out a morphological identification of prey remains. Three main groups of Arthropoda (Insecta, Chilopoda and Araneida) were preyed upon but frequencies varied across species. The insect prey most frequently preyed upon by R. ferrumequinum are Diptera (34.56%), mainly including Culicidae (10.40 %), Chironomidae / Ceratopogonidae (10.94 %) and Tipulidae (4.28 %), and also Lepidoptera (24.13 %). In R. hipposideros droppings we found Diptera (41.58 %) , Chironomidae / Ceratopogonidae (9.68 %) and Tipulidae (6.45 %). Also common were Lepidoptera (moths; 21.14 %) and Hemiptera (11.68 %).

R.euryale ate mainly Diptera (29.00 %), Chironomidae / Ceratopogonidae (7.14 %) and Tipulidae (5.71 %). The order Lepidoptera (moths) was also well represented (19.08 %). R. blasii preyed on two groups of Arthropoda: Insecta (96.87 %) and Chilopoda (4.34 %). The most consumed insect prey was Diptera (37.50 %), mainly Chironomidae / Ceratopogonidae (9.38 %), Culicidae, Anisopodidae and Sphaeroceridae (6.25 %). The order Trichoptera was also well represented in its diet (15.63 %) and Lepidoptera accounted for 12.50 % . The most interesting aspect of this study was that Chilopoda appeared in the diet of all species and that, albeit rarely, R. ferrumequinum also ate spiders. This result suggests that all species could glean prey from substrate, most probably as a strategy to better exploit the open habitats typical of the study area. 

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