Animal Sonar pp 595-599 | Cite as

Echolocation Strategies of Aerial Insectivorous Bats and Their Influence on Prey Selection

  • Robert M. R. Barclay
Part of the NATO ASI Science book series (NSSA, volume 156)


There are few studies of prey selection by aerial insectivorous bats but Swift et al. (1985) noted that the available data suggests that large species feed selectively while small species are unselective. They suggested that large bats select prey, primarily on the basis of size, for reasons consistent with optimal foraging theory (i.e., to maximize the rate of net energy intake).


Flight Speed Prey Selection Echolocation Call Wing Loading Aerial Insect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ahlen, I., 1981, Identification of Scandinavian bats by their sounds, Swed. Univ. Agr. Sci. Dept. Wildlife Ecol., Rep. 6.Google Scholar
  2. Barclay, R.M.R., 1985, Long-versus short-range foraging strategies of hoary (Lasiurus cinereus) and silver-haired (Lasionycteris noctivagans) bats and consequences for prey selection, Can. J. Zool., 63: 2507–2515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Farney, J. and Fleharty, E.D., 1969, Aspect ratio, loading, wing span and membrane areas of bats, J. Mamm., 50: 362–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fenton, M.B. and Bell, G.P., 1981, Recognition of species of insectivorous bats by their echolocation calls, J. Mamm., 62: 233–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fenton, M.B. and Fleming, T.H., 1976, Ecological interactions between bats and nocturnal birds, Biotropica, 8: 104–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Griffin, D.R., 1971, The importance of atmospheric attenuation for the echolocation of bats (Chiroptera), Anim. Behay., 19: 55–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hayward, B.J. and Davis, R., Flight speed in western bats, J. Mamm., 45: 236–242.Google Scholar
  8. Hespenheide, H.A., 1971, Food preference and the extent of overlap in some insectivorous birds, with special reference to the Tyranidae, Ibis., 113: 59–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Neuweiler, G., 1984, Foraging, echolocation and audition in bats, Naturwissenschaften, 71: 446–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Norberg, V.M., 1981, Allometry of bat wings and legs and comparison with birds, Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. B., 292: 359–398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Norberg, V.M., 1985, Flying, gliding and soaring, in: “Functional Vertebrate Morphology”, M. Hildebrand, D.M. Bramble, K.F. Lien and D.B. Wake, eds., Belknap Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  12. Pye, J.D., 1980, Echolocation signals and echoes in air, in: “Animal Sonar Systems”, R.-G. Busnel and J.F. Fish, eds. Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  13. Rosenzweig, M.L., 1968, The strategy of body size in mammalian carnivores. Amer. Midl. Nat., 80: 299–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ross, A., 1967, Ecological aspects of the food habits of bats. Proc. Western Found. Vert. Zool., 1: 204–263.Google Scholar
  15. Schnitzler, H.U., Menne, D., Kober, R., and Heblich, K., 1983, The accoustical image of fluttering insects in echolocating bats. in: “Neuroethology and Behavioural Physiology”, F. Huber and H. Markl, eds., Springer, New York.Google Scholar
  16. Schuller, G. and Pollak, G., 1979, Disproportionate frequency representation in the inferior colliculus of Doppler-compensating greater horseshoe bats: evidence for an acoustic fovea, J. Comp. Physiol., 132: 47–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Simmons, J.A. and Stein, R.A., 1980, Acoustic imaging in bat sonar: Echolocation signals and the evolution of echolocation, J. Comp. Physiol., 135: 61–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Simmons, J.A., Fenton, M.B., and O’Farrell, M.J., 1979, Echolocation and pursuit of prey by bats, Science, 203: 16–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Swift, S.M., Racey, P.A., and Avery, M.I., 1985, Feeding ecology of Pipistrellus pipistrellus (Chiroptera:Vespertilionidae) during pregnancy and lactation, II. Diet. J. Anim. Ecol., 54: 217–225.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. R. Barclay
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

Personalised recommendations