Foraging and habitat use by Nycteris grandis (Chiroptera: Nycteridae) in Zimbabwe



This study describes the foraging strategies, foraging areas, and roosts used by four female radio-tagged Nycteris grandis along the Zambezi River in Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe. The bats exhibited two foraging strategies, sometimes hunting from perches, other times flying continuously close to the ground. Some individuals used one strategy more than the other. During the study, the bats fed mainly on frogs, selecting only Ptychadena anchietae; they also took crickets, moths and cicadas. Each bat usually consumed two frogs each night and patterns of occupation of feeding perches suggest that their foraging efficiency was between 21 and 36%. The marked bats roosted in an old water tower or in a hollow Acacia albida. Four of five marked females were nursing young during this study.