alexa CAVE-DWELLING BATS

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CAVE-DWELLING BATS

The Philippine archipelago has high species richn ess of bats, many of which are cave-dwellers. Information on the dietary items consumed by these cave-dwe llers is important towards bat conservation. This study was conducted to determine the diet of eight species of cave-dwelling bats from 13 cave sites in Mindanao, Philippines based on percentage occurrence of the diet items in the gut contents. Among the frugivorous species, Rousettus amplexicaudatus had the highest percentage occurrence of fruit bits (73.68%) and fruit fibers (36.84%) suggesting high fruit consumpti on. Some individuals of Cynopterus brachyotis were found to consume Ficus sp. seeds while a Ptenochirus jagori individual had an unidentified seed in the gut. Insect limbs were present in the diet of R. amplexicaudatus and P. jagori . Presence of insects in these fruit-eating bats implies that these bats might have consumed fruits along with the insects a ssociated with the fruits. Among the insect-eating bats, digested insect parts, wings, limbs, and exoskeletons of Hy menoptera, Formicidae, Orthoptera, and Scotinophara sp. were observed in their gut. Fruit bits and fruit fibers observed in Hipposideros diadema, Miniopterus schreibersii and Taphozous melanopogon suggest that these bats consumed insects as well as fruits or fruits associated with certain insects. Unidentified dietary items among insect-eating bats included digested flesh, cartilaginous materials, and hair fibers. Bird feathers were found in some individuals of Rhinolophus virgo and H. diadema . Larvae and parasitic helminths were observed in the gut of some individuals identified to have consumed hair fibers, digested flesh and arthropod parts. Samples from other caves in Mindanao need to be ex amined to fully establish the diet of a given species.

 

 

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