Tent selection, roosting ecology and social organization of the tent-making bat, Ectophylla alba, in Costa Rica


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    Program in Ethology, M313 Walters Life Sciences Building, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA


Small groups of the tent-making bat, Ectophylla alba, were found roosting in Heliconia (Musaceae) tents in old secondary-growth forest in north-eastern Costa Rica. The choice of specific Heliconia leaves for tents was predicted on the basis of leaf size and age. Additionally, tents in shrubs, saplings and epiphytic plants were found scattered throughout both primary- and secondary-growth forest. Tents were used either as night feeding roosts or as day-roosts for as long as 45 days. Groups of bats remained together when they moved to newly cut tents. After parturition, tent groups divided into all-male colonies and maternity colonies with females, non-volant young and a single adult male.