Informace o publikaci

Morphological size determination of moths in bat faeces opens possibilities to prey quantification



Rok publikování 2023
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj Biologia
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Přírodovědecká fakulta

Klíčová slova Bats; Moths; Diet analysis; Quantification; Biological pest management
Popis High number of moth species are considered to be agricultural pests in their caterpillar stage. Birds and other arthropods often forage moths, but ecosystem services provided by temperate bats are just coming to light in past few years. Although there is no doubt that insectivorous bats forage upon adult stages of pest moths contributing to the quality and quantity of crops, it remains unclear how many prey items have foraged and therefore it is unclear if the amounts taken are sufficient for biocontrol. Molecular detection of pest moth imagoes in bat diet is a relatively new approach that only delivers present or absent data. Therefore, sorting contains of bat faeces using morphological size determination may lead to better prey quantification. As the number of consumed prey items determines the boundary between consumption and regulatory significance, we focused on (i) if indigestible moth body parts retrieved from faeces reflect the number of moths eaten, (ii) how size of indigestible moth body parts relates to the overall moth body size, and (iii) an accuracy of moth classification into size groups. Our results indicated that base frenulum (hook holding front and hinder wings together) width is the most suitable characteristic to determine body size of the moth, with a discrimination success exceeding 73% when placing the moth into one of four size categories. The size differentiation of prey within a faecal sample together with molecular identification and other semiquantitative methods allows for more precise quantification and could yet help confirm the importance of bats as biological control agents.

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