Echolocation calls and wing morphology of bats from the West Indies

Nancy Vaughan Jennings, Stuart Parsons, Kate E. Barlow, Michael R. Gannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Echolocation calls of 119 bats belonging to 12 species in three families from Antillean islands of Puerto Rico, Dominica, and St. Vincent were recorded by using time-expansion methods. Spectrograms of calls and descriptive statistics of five temporal and frequency variables measured from calls are presented. The echolocation calls of many of these species, particularly those in the family Phyllostomidae, have not been described previously. The wing morphology of each taxon is described and related to the structure of its echolocation calls and its foraging ecology. Of slow aerial-hawking insectivores, the Mormoopidae and Natalidae Mormoops blainvillii, Pteronotus davyi davyi, P. quadridens fuliginosus, and Natalus stramineus stramineus can forage with great manoeuvrability in background-cluttered space (close to vegetation), and are able to hover. Pteronotus parnellii portoricensis is able to fly and echolocate in highly-cluttered space (dense vegetation). Among frugivores, nectarivores and omnivores in the family Phyllostomidae, Brachyphylla cavernarum intermedia is adapted to foraging in the edges of vegetation in background-cluttered space, while Erophylla bombifrons bombifrons, Glossophaga longirostris rostrata, Artibeus jamaicensis jamaicensis, A. jamaicensis schwartzi and Stenoderma rufum darioi are adapted to foraging under canopies in highly-cluttered space and do not have speed or efficiency in commuting flight. In contrast, Monophyllus plethodon luciae, Sturnira lilium, angeli and S. lilium paulsoni are adapted to fly in highly-cluttered space, but can also fly fast and efficiently in open areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-90
Number of pages16
JournalActa Chiropterologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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