Food and foraging preferences of three pteropodid bats in southern India

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M.R Sudhakaran
Paramanantha Swami Doss


A study on the food, foraging and flight height in three species of pteropodid bats, namely Cynopterus sphinx, Rousettus leschenaultii and Pteropus giganteus was conducted in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts of southern Tamil Nadu, India. A total of 37 species of plants were identified as potential food plants of the pteropodid bats. The preference for fruits by pteropodids varied according to the developmental stages of fruits namely, immature, unripe and ripe. There is a relationship between the foraging activities of bats and the moon phase. Bats exhibit a varied foraging pattern and flight height. A variation in the foraging flight height was observed in C. sphinx and R. leschenaultii. R. leschenaultii was observed to have a higher foraging echelon than that of the C. sphinx. In our study we found that the C. sphinx forages normally at canopy level (up to 3.5m), R. leschenaultii forages at upper canopy levels (up to 9m) and P. giganteus at a height above the canopy area (>9m).

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Author Biographies

M.R Sudhakaran

Dr. M.R. Sudhakaran is an Assistant Professor in Zoology at Sri Paramakalyani College, doing research work on bats for the past ten years. He completed his doctoral research in the year 2007 on the behaviour and distribution of Pteropus giganteus in Thamiraparani region.

Paramanantha Swami Doss

Dr. Paramanantha Swamidoss is a young scientist at Madurai Kamaraj University, doing research on ethology of bats for the past 13 years. He is presently engaged in doing research on the genetical aspect of C. sphinx.