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Journal Article

Odour-Based Species Recognition in Two Sympatric Species of Sac-Winged Bats (Saccopteryx bilineata, S. leptura): Combining Chemical Analyses, Behavioural Observations and Odour Preference Tests

Barbara A. Caspers, Frank C. Schroeder, Stephan Franke, W. Jürgen Streich and Christian C. Voigt
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Vol. 63, No. 5 (Mar., 2009), pp. 741-749
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40295341
Page Count: 9
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Odour-Based Species Recognition in Two Sympatric Species of Sac-Winged Bats (Saccopteryx bilineata, S. leptura): Combining Chemical Analyses, Behavioural Observations and Odour Preference Tests
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Abstract

Combining chemical analysis and odour preference tests, we asked whether two closely related sympatric species of sac-winged bats use odour for species recognition. Males of the two sister species Saccopteryx bilineata and Saccopteryx leptura have pouches containing an odoriferous liquid in their antebrachial wing membrane, which is used in S. bilineata during courtship displays. Although both species occasionally share the same daytime roosts and are morphologically similar, there is no evidence for interbreeding. We compared the production and composition of the wing sac odorant in male S. leptura and S. bilineata and performed odour preference tests with female S. bilineata. Similar to male S. bilineata, male S. leptura cleansed and refilled their wing sacs with secretions, but they spent more time each day in doing so than male S. bilineata. Chemical analysis by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry revealed that male Saccopteryx carried species-specific scents in their wing sacs. Binary choice tests confirmed that female S. bilineata preferred the wing sac scents of male S. bilineata to those of the sister species, suggesting that the species specificity of male wing sac scents maintain the pre-mating isolation barrier between these closely related species.

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