The winter diet of the lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) in Britain and Ireland.

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2011
Authors:Williams, C., Salter, L., Jones G.
Journal:Hystrix - Italian Journal of Mammalogy
Keywords:Bat diet, Conservation, Dipterans, faecal analysis, Foraging, Vertebrata

The lesser horseshoe bat Rhinolophus hipposideros feeds regularly throughout
the winter across its British and Irish range. During winter 1995/96 and 1998/99, in
Cornwall R. hipposideros fed mainly on dipteran flies in the families Tipulidae/
Trichoceridae, Sphaeroceridae and Mycetophilidae. Differences in dietary composition
were found across the British and Irish range of R.hipposideros in winter, and these probably
relate to local habitat differences. Nevertheless, across sites Tipulidae/Trichoceridae
were always the most frequently eaten prey in winter, with Mycetophilidae and Anisopodidae
also eaten frequently. The ecology of the important prey families indicated the value of
damp woodland with decaying wood and grazing animals, particularly cattle, for the winter
foraging of R. hipposideros.

Short Title:Hystrix It. J. Mamm. (n.s.)
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