Social calls of Myotis nattereri during swarming: Call structure mirrors the different behavioral context

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2019
Authors:Schmidbauer, Denzinger
Secondary Authors:Sakata

Swarming is a characteristic behavior of bats that occurs in different social contexts. We studied the swarming behavior of Myotis nattereri at a maternity colony and at an autumn swarming site in South-West Germany by using synchronized sound and video recordings. Swarming was always associated with social vocalizations consisting of four frequently occurring call types. Call type A was a short call with a broadband steep-shallow-steep downward frequency modulation. Call type B consisted of two elements beginning with a broadband upward hooked element followed by a steep frequency modulated element. Call type C showed a characteristic rapid downward-upward-downward frequency modulation. Call type D was a long sinusoidal trill-like call with high variability in signal structure. All call types were recorded at the maternity colony, as well as at the autumn swarming site, but the incidence of each call type differed distinctly between the study sites. At the maternity roost, type A calls were most commonly produced. We found evidence for an individual signature in this call type and suggest that this social call has the function of a contact call in Natterer’s bats. At the autumn swarming site, type D calls were the most common social calls; in contrast, this call type was recorded only twice at the maternity roost. The occurrence of trills mainly at the autumn swarming site and their high variability suggests that trills function as male advertisement calls in M. nattereri.

BioAcoustica ID: 
Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith