Echolocation calls of Poey’s flower bat (Phyllonycteris poeyi) unlike those of other phyllostomids
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Unlike any other foraging phyllostomid bat studied to date, Poey’s flower bats (Phyllonycteris poeyi-Phyllostomidae) emit relatively long (up to 7.2 ms), intense, single-harmonic echolocation calls. These calls are readily detectable at distances of at least 15 m. Furthermore, the echolocation calls contain only the first harmonic, which is usually filtered out in the vocal tract of phyllostomids. The foraging echolocation calls of P. poeyi are more like search-phase echolocation calls of sympatric aerial-feeding bats (Molossidae, Vespertilionidae, Mormoopidae). Intense, long, narrowband, single-harmonic echolocation calls focus acoustic energy maximizing range and favoring detection, which may be particularly important for cruising bats, like P. poeyi, when flying in the open. Flying in enclosed spaces, P. poeyi emit short, low-intensity, frequency-modulated, multiharmonic echolocation calls typical of other phyllostomids. This is the first report of a phyllostomid species emitting long, intense, single-harmonic echolocation calls with most energy in the first harmonic.
KeywordsEcholocation Phyllostomidae Whispering bat Phyllonycteris poeyi
The authors want to express their gratitude to Luis Manuel Díaz and Antonio Cadiz who helped in localizing the foraging bats and during the recording sessions. This study was supported by the Alexander von Humboldt foundation, Germany, to ECM. We also thank Dr. Brock Fenton for his support and three other anonymous referees for their valuable comments on earlier versions of the manuscript.
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