Feeding ecology and diet

Emballonurid bats are aerial insectivorous bats that can be easily observed hunting for insects in a slow butterflylike flight. Larger emballonurid species, like the genus Taphozous, have a more pronounced, powerful flight. Em-ballonurids are among the first bats to start foraging in the evening. During periods of bad weather, some species may even start foraging in the afternoon. Occasionally, some species also glean insects from leaves. The diet of neotropical emballonurids consists mostly of small insects, primarily beetles and flies. In S. bilineata, colony members forage in an area where only they have access to. When insect abundance is declining, the whole colony moves to a different foraging site. Within foraging areas, single individuals forage in beats of 32.8-98.4 ft (10-30 m). The proboscis bat, Rhynchonycteris naso, hunts insects above or close to water surfaces. Ghost bats, genus Diclidurus, forage above the

A small Asian sheath-tailed bat (Emballonura alecto) on cave wall. (Photo by Pavel German. Reproduced by permission.)

canopy. The Old World members are similar in their diet to the New World members. The tomb bats, genus Taphozous, forage more in open spaces.

Instead of a throat sac, the black-bearded tomb bat (Taphozous melano-pogon) has pores that open into the throat. (Photo by Pavel German. Reproduced by permission.)
The wing pouch of an adult male greater sac-winged bat (Saccopteryx bilineata). (Photo by © Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International. Reproduced by permission.)

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