Skip to main content
Log in

Foraging habitat and echolocation behaviour of Schneider's leafnosed bat, Hipposideros speoris, in a vegetation mosaic in Sri Lanka

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Aims and scope Submit manuscript


The Hipposideridae and Rhinolophidae are closely related families of bats that have similar echolocation (long-duration pure-tone signal, high duty cycle) and auditory systems (Doppler-shift compensation, auditory fovea). Rhinolophid bats are known to forage in highly cluttered areas where they capture fluttering insects, whereas the foraging habitat of hipposiderid bats is not well understood. Compared to rhinolophids, hipposiderid calls are shorter in duration, have lower duty cycles, and they exhibit only partial Doppler-shift compensation. These differences suggest that the foraging habitat of the two families may also differ. We tested this hypothesis by studying foraging and echolocation of Hipposideros speoris at a site with a range of vegetation types. Bats foraged only while in flight and used all available closed and edge habitats, including areas adjacent to open space. Levels of clutter were high in forest and moderate in other foraging areas. Prey capture (n=42) occurred in edge vegetation where it bordered open space. Echolocation signals of H. speoris lacked an initial upward frequency-modulated sweep and were of moderate duration (5.1–8.7 ms). Sequences had high duty cycles (23–41%) and very high pulse repetition rates (22.8–60.6 Hz). Variation in signal parameters during search phase flight across foraging habitats was low. H. speoris showed a greater flexibility in its use of foraging habitat than is known for any rhinolophid species. Our study confirmed that there are differences in habitat use between hipposiderid and rhinolophid bats and we suggest that this divergence is a consequence of differences in their echolocation and auditory systems.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

Electronic Publication

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Pavey, C.R., Grunwald, JE. & Neuweiler, G. Foraging habitat and echolocation behaviour of Schneider's leafnosed bat, Hipposideros speoris, in a vegetation mosaic in Sri Lanka. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 50, 209–218 (2001).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: