Foraging and roosting ecology of the Lesser Dog-faced Fruit Bat Cynopterus brachyotis (Mammalia: Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) in southern India

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T. Karuppudurai
K. Sripathi


The Lesser Dog-faced Fruit Bat Cynopterus brachyotis was found at higher elevations but since there is a paucity of reports on its distribution and habitat selection, an inventory was made at four locations in the Eastern and Western Ghats of southern India where the elevation ranged from 200–1,500 m.  The C. brachyotis roosts were distributed between 600–1,500 m.  Day roosts were found at an elevation of about 1,000m in Sirumalai and Yercaud Hill stations.  Mist-netting studies, however, revealed that C. brachyotis was widely distributed at different elevations ranging from 600–1,500 m.  Moreover, through a radio-telemetry study, we determined that the males foraged at shorter distances from the day roost, whereas the females commuted longer distances and used more than one foraging area.  The male bats’ time of emergence is significantly less than females; in addition, males frequently return to their day-roost and made several short foraging flights spaced randomly throughout the night. These observations suggest that some type of territoriality is associated with their roost, which appears to be the basis of social organization in C. brachyotis.  Overall, this study provides detailed information about the foraging and roosting ecology of C. brachyotis in southern India.


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Author Biographies

T. Karuppudurai, Department of Animal Behaviour and Physiology, School of Biological Sciences, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625021, India

Dr. T. Karuppudurai is a DBT-Ramalingaswami Fellow (Scientist ‘D’/Senior Assistant Professor) at Madurai Kamaraj University. His research group currently uses both bats and Drosophila as model system and his research interest includes bats behavioural ecology, molecular genetics, molecular biology and Drosophila genetics and molecular neuroscience. 

K. Sripathi, Department of Animal Behaviour and Physiology, School of Biological Sciences, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625021, India Present address: Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Chettinad Health City, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, Kelambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 603103, India

 Dr. Sripathi Kandula retired as a Professor at School of Biological Sciences, Madurai Kamaraj University.  He has been working on the mechanisms of behaviour, conservation and molecular evolution of chiropterans for more than three and a half decades.  Presently he is working at the Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Chennai as Professor and Principal, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences.


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