The structure and dynamics of a rhinolophid bat community of Latium (Central Italy) (Chiroptera)
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Società Romana di Scienze Naturali, SRSN
Publish date: 1998-12-30
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 1998;10(2)
Abstract The present paper summarizes the results of 3 years of observation made at six month intervals for six months at a time (18 field surveys) in a man-made cave in Northern Latium (Central Italy) from April 1992 to April 1995. Its aim is to analyze the main structural and dynamic features of a bat community which hibernates at the shelter. Rhinolophus ferrumequinum and especially Rhinolophus euryale are the most abundant species. Population dynamics of both species as well as that of Rhinoluphus hipposideros show higher levels of abundance between December and February of each semester. In mid-winter, large and sometimes mixed aggregations of Rhinolophus ferrumequinum and Rhinolophus euryale in deep hypothermia occur. A small number of Rhinolophus hipposideros, mainly adult males, was observed. The paper compares the structure of this community to the structure of another community of the same district which has been previously analyzed, in which Vespertilionidae, especially Miniopterus schreibersi, are much more abundant. Despite the difference in species composition, body size was found to be a significant and common feature (as highlighted by forearm length), of the dominant species in both communities, Rhinolophus euryale and Miniopterus schreibersi respectively.