Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Activity levels of bats and katydids in relation to the lunar cycle.


Lang, A B; Kalko, E K V; Römer, H; Bockholdt, C; Dechmann, D K N (2006). Activity levels of bats and katydids in relation to the lunar cycle. Oecologia, 146(4):659-666.

Abstract

Animals are exposed to many conflicting ecological pressures, and the effect of one may often obscure that of another. A likely example of this is the so-called ‘‘lunar phobia’’ or reduced activity of bats during full moon. The main reason for lunar phobia was thought to be that bats adjust their activity to avoid predators. However, bats can be prey, but many are carnivorous and therefore predators themselves. Thus, they are likely to be influenced by prey availability as well as predation risk. We investigated the activity patterns of the perchhunting Lophostoma silvicolum and one of its main types of prey, katydids, to assess the influence of the former during different phases of the lunar cycle on a gleaning
insectivorous bat. To avoid sampling bias, we used sound recordings and two different capture methods for the katydids, as well as video monitoring and radiotelemetry for the bats. Both, bats and katydids were
significantly more active during the dark periods associated with new moon compared to bright periods around the full moon. We conclude that foraging activity of L. silvicolum is probably influenced by prey availability to a large extent and argue that generally the causes of lunar phobia are species-specific.

Abstract

Animals are exposed to many conflicting ecological pressures, and the effect of one may often obscure that of another. A likely example of this is the so-called ‘‘lunar phobia’’ or reduced activity of bats during full moon. The main reason for lunar phobia was thought to be that bats adjust their activity to avoid predators. However, bats can be prey, but many are carnivorous and therefore predators themselves. Thus, they are likely to be influenced by prey availability as well as predation risk. We investigated the activity patterns of the perchhunting Lophostoma silvicolum and one of its main types of prey, katydids, to assess the influence of the former during different phases of the lunar cycle on a gleaning
insectivorous bat. To avoid sampling bias, we used sound recordings and two different capture methods for the katydids, as well as video monitoring and radiotelemetry for the bats. Both, bats and katydids were
significantly more active during the dark periods associated with new moon compared to bright periods around the full moon. We conclude that foraging activity of L. silvicolum is probably influenced by prey availability to a large extent and argue that generally the causes of lunar phobia are species-specific.

Statistics

Citations

72 citations in Web of Science®
72 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Zoology (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2006
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:14
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0029-8549
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-005-0131-3

Download

Full text not available from this repository.
View at publisher