Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Bat Predation on Eared Moths: A Test of the Allotonic Frequency Hypothesis

Chris R. Pavey and Chris J. Burwell
Oikos
Vol. 81, No. 1 (Feb., 1998), pp. 143-151
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3546476
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3546476
Page Count: 9
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Bat Predation on Eared Moths: A Test of the Allotonic Frequency Hypothesis
Preview not available

Abstract

Many species of moths (Lepidoptera) possess ears which enable them to hear the echolocation calls of bats and avoid predation. The range of best hearing of eared moths is to frequencies usually between 20 and 50 kHz; therefore, bats with calls above or below these frequencies are predicted to capture eared moths more frequently than other bats. This prediction is the basis of the allotonic frequency hypothesis. We conducted a field test of the hypothesis using three species of flutter-detecting bats which capture flying insects. The species were diadem leafnosed bat Hipposideros diadema (call frequency 55-58 kHz), eastern horseshoe bat Rhinolophus megaphyllus (67-71 kHz) and dusky leafnosed bat H. ater (160-164 kHz). Eared moths represented only 7.2% of individuals among prey remains of H. diadema. Moths dominated the diet of both R. megaphyllus and H. ater, being present in almost all faeces and representing the vast majority of prey remains. However, R. megaphyllus captured predominantly non-eared moths (Anthelidae, Lasiocampidae, Hepialidae) or Gelechioid moths, a superfamily which has not been tested for hearing. By contrast, H. ater fed mostly on eared moths, predominantly members of the family Noctuidae. Eared moths made up 91.7% and 82.5% of all moths captured by H. ater at two sites. The data show that the incorporation of eared moths in the diet was much higher in the bat species, H. ater, with a call frequency well above the range of best hearing of moths. This result supports the allotonic frequency hypothesis. Our study indicates that flutter-detecting bats could have imposed selective pressures on moths during the evolution of moth hearing.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
143
    143
  • Thumbnail: Page 
144
    144
  • Thumbnail: Page 
145
    145
  • Thumbnail: Page 
146
    146
  • Thumbnail: Page 
147
    147
  • Thumbnail: Page 
148
    148
  • Thumbnail: Page 
149
    149
  • Thumbnail: Page 
150
    150
  • Thumbnail: Page 
151
    151