We investigated the wing morphology and foraging distributions of sympatric Rhinolophus and Hipposideros species by acoustic sampling, measuring wing parameters, and observing bats in different settings of tropical East Asian forests, to evaluate their flexibility in habitat use and edge sensitivity. R. formosae and H. terasensis were more abundant at edges/in open habitats and shared the highest overlap, with R. formosae displaying the greatest breadth in habitat use, whereas R. monoceros had a higher abundance and feeding efficiency in forest interiors with a continuous canopy. H. terasensis was significantly larger and had higher wing loading and aspect ratio than R. formosae and R. monoceros, while R. formosae had higher wing loading but a lower aspect ratio than the smaller-sized R. monoceros. Shrubs and herbs were higher at sites where bats were captured than at those without bat captures, and R. monoceros and R. formosae were associated with greater canopy and ground coverage, respectively. R. monoceros always foraged while flying at lower heights close to the herb/shrub layers, while H. terasensis and R. formosae used perching to different extents, with R. formosae preferably using fly-catching techniques and appearing farther from the path in open forests rather than in forest interiors. Our results indicate that differences in wing parameters account for the different degrees of flexibility in habitat use, yet the deviations of call frequency from the expected values in R. formosae and H. terasensis suggest additional adaptations accounting for their flexibility in exploring habitats.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology