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Monastic Myzopoda: the foraging and roosting ecology of a sexually segregated Malagasy endemic bat


  • Editor: Nigel Bennett

Paul A. Racey, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, UK.


We studied the social organization, use of foraging habitat, roost switching and diet of the sucker-footed bat Myzopoda aurita in south-eastern Madagascar. All 138 bats caught were males, 18 of which were selected for radio-tracking. The areas individual bats used for foraging varied between 7 and 108 ha (100% minimum convex polygon). Bats foraged close the roost for the first hour after emergence, then travelled up to 1.8 km away. Compositional analysis revealed that they selected coffee plantations, degraded humid forest and wooded grassland more than any other habitats. All 133 roosts located consisted of the partially unfurled leaves of Ravenala madagascariensis and housed between nine and 51 individuals. Bats changed roosts every 1–5 days. Their diet comprised mainly of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera. No ectoparasites were observed. Myzopoda aurita is one of the few mammals endemic to Madagascar that uses disturbed patches of vegetation and is not therefore threatened by deforestation, although it may be affected by loss of roosts for building materials. The search for females continues.

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