Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 50, Issue 14, pp 1477–1482 | Cite as

Foraging strategies in the greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) on Lepidoptera in summer

  • Longru Jin
  • Jiang Feng
  • Keping Sun
  • Ying Liu
  • Lei Wu
  • Zhenxin Li
  • Xichen Zhang


The diet of the bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum was studied at the Zhi’an Village of Ji’an City in China, from June to August 2004. The bats were trained in a laboratory (volume: 9x4x4 m3). Foraging strategies of the bat were observed at night and prey remains were collected and identified. The results showed that the diet consisted mainly of Lepidoptera in summer, including 11 families, more than 30 species of moths, such as Noctuidae (36.6% by number), Sphingidae (24.1%), Geometridae (13.4%) and Limacodidae (9.5%). The length of culled wings ranged from 10–40 mm (97.7%). Pearson correlation analysis showed that the bat R. ferrumequinum foraged their prey selectively, but not opportunistically. From field studies, two ways were observed in which the bats retrieved their prey including aerial hawking during peak active period of the insects and flycatching during the insects’ non-peak activity period. The bats never gleaned prey from the ground, though they appeared to be well able to detect fluttering moths on the ground.


Rhinolophus ferrumequinum Lepidoptera diet prey remains foraging behavior 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Longru Jin
    • 1
  • Jiang Feng
    • 1
  • Keping Sun
    • 1
  • Ying Liu
    • 1
  • Lei Wu
    • 1
  • Zhenxin Li
    • 1
  • Xichen Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and EngineeringNortheast Normal UniversityChangchunChina

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