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Estimation of food intake and ingested energy in Daubenton's bats (Myotis daubentonii) during pregnancy and spermatogenesis

, : Estimation of food intake and ingested energy in Daubenton's bats (Myotis daubentonii) during pregnancy and spermatogenesis. European Journal of Wildlife Research 52(4): 221-227

We studied food intake of and estimated ingested energy in female and male Myotis daubentonii during the periods of pregnancy (period 1, 8 May-4 June) and of intense spermatogenetic activity (period 2, 24 July-22 August) over 8 years (1996-2003) in central Germany. We used radiotelemetry to determine the time spent foraging and marked animals with chemiluminescent light-sticks to determine prey attack rates. Body length, body mass, moisture content, and caloric content of chironomids, the main prey of Daubenton's bats, were measured to estimate the nightly food intake and, in consequence, energy intake. Pregnant females spent significantly more time foraging than males during period I and females during the post-lactation period. In contrast, male foraged longer during the period of highest spennatogenetic activity than during late spring and also significantly longer than post-lactating females. Based on a mean number of 8.3 prey attacks per minute, the time spent foraging, and a capture success rate of either 50 or 92%, calculated intake values with a feeding rate of 7.6 insects per minute (=92% capture success) were more consistent with literature data for other insectivorous bats than that of values calculated on the basis of a capture success rate of 50%. In the high capture-success model, calculated insect intake of female bats was 8.0 g during pregnancy and 4.9 g per day during post-lactation, providing 5.0 and 3.0 kJ of ingested energy per gram body mass per day. Calculated intake of male bats was 3.6 g insects per day during late spring and 8.0 g during period of intensive spermatogenesis, providing 2.6 and 5.7 U of ingested energy per gram body mass.


DOI: 10.1007/s10344-006-0046-2

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