Date of this Version
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Entomology Online Masters Program Final Project. Lincoln, Nebraska.
Utilizing Fecal Pellet Analysis to Determine Prey Selection by Insectivorous Bats: For my Graduate Project I examined culled exoskeleton parts from bat fecal pellets (guano) to determine identifications of the insects preyed upon by a group of bats to their order and often family levels. Culled insect parts were permanently fixed on microscope slides and viewed under a dissection microscope to determine identifications and to quantify the percentage composition that they represented in the bat’s diet. Comparisons were made of prey selected by the different bat species that were foraging at the same location and at the same time. Comparisons were also made of the insect species being predated upon bat species foraging at different times and locations. This project evaluated the fecal pellet technique for it effectiveness as a tool in determining prey selection by insectivorous bats as well as an indicator of the flighted nocturnal insects within a habitat. In part the project evaluates if it can be used effectively to compare different species of bats foraging in similar habitats at similar times to see if they are selecting for different insect prey types or rather if they are choosing what is most available. The results can then show if there are differential prey selection pressures being placed on flighted nocturnal insects by different species of bats.