Prey recognition and selection by the constant frequency bat, Pteronotus p. parnellii


Material Information

Prey recognition and selection by the constant frequency bat, Pteronotus p. parnellii
Series Title:
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Goldman, L. J.
Henson Jr., O. W.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Pteronotus P. Parnellii ( local )
Jamaica ( local )
Thyrinteina Arnobia ( local )
Wingbeats ( local )
Doppler-Shifts ( local )
P. Parnellii ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


In the laboratory the neotropical bat, Pteronotus p. parnellii of Jamaica W.I., will readily capture free flying and tethered insects. It will also attack a stationary mechanical insect model when its wing-like parts are rapidly moving. On the basis of our observations we conclude that: (1) P. parnellii are attracted to flying insects and recognition of these rather than background objects is dependent on insect wing movements. Insects which are not beating wings are relatively immune from predation. (2) The frequency of the wingbeats of the insects is important in prey recognition. P. parnellii are not attracted to insects or to mechanical models of insects when the wing movements are slow. (3) These bats are selective in the acquisition of their prey and not simply opportunistic. They ignore or reject lampyrid beetles, arctiid and ctenuchid moths and the geometrid moth, Thyrinteina arnobia. They consume a variety of other Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, and insects from other orders. Their prey consists of both large and small insects. (4) In spite of the emission of intense sonar pulses with a constant frequency component of long duration, they can effectively hunt their prey in relatively confined spaces. They can chase their prey among simple arrays of obstacles and they can pursue insects to within several centimeters of large obstacles. (5) Evidence supports the hypothesis that the basis for insect wingbeat detection is the rapid and repetitive pattern of Doppler-shifts which the beating wings impose on the echoes of the constant frequency component of the bat's pulses.
Original Version:
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Vol. 2, no. 4 (1977-12).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

USFLDC Membership

University of South Florida
Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



Download Options


No images or PDF downloads are available for this resource.

Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.