, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 315-332

Echolocation behaviours of the Japanese pipistrelle batPipistrellus abramus during foraging flight

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Abstract

The acoustic structure of echolocation pulses emitted by Japanese pipistrellePipistrellus abramus (Temminck, 1840) bats during different phases of aerial hawking is described here for the first time. Behavioural observations of the foraging flight in conjunction with acoustical analysis of echolocation pulses indicated a flight path consisting of four distinct phases following the reconnaissance or search phase. Short (∼4.68 ms) and relatively broadband frequencymodulated (FM) pulses (∼23.55 kHz bandwidth) were emitted at a repetition rate of 15 Hz during presumed target approach. Presumed insect capture consisted of an early and a late buzz phase. Both buzz types were emitted at high repetition rates (111 Hz in early to 222 Hz in late) and consisted of very short, broadband FM pulses (1.26 ms in early to 0.3 ms in late). There was also a characteristically sharp drop in both the peak and terminal frequencies of each echolocation pulse during the transition from early to late buzz. No pulses were recorded during the final phase of foraging referred to as a “post-buzz pause”. Thus the foraging behaviour of this species consisted of five sequential phases involving four broad types of echolocation pulses.

Associate editor was Andrzej Zalewski.