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Roosting ecology of the pallid bat, Antrozous pallidus

February 1, 1976

Daytime roosting behavior of pallid bats (Antrozous pallidus) was studied in central Arizona. Bats were present in the area from March or April until November and roosted in cliffs in colonies generally including 20 or more individuals. Pallid bats were highly selective in their choice of roost sites and minimized diurnal energy output by adaptive hypothermia and behavioral thermo-regulation. In spring and autumn the bats roosted in vertical crevices responsive to changes in ambient temperatures. Here temperatures remained low and the bats were torpid for much of the day, but when the crevices became heated in the late afternoon the bats were passively warmed prior to emergence. Deep, horizontal crevices were preferred in summer; cliffs function as massive heat sinks, and in summer crevice temperatures remained moderate and relatively stable. Throughout most of the day both the deep parts of the crevices and the body temperatures of the bats remained close to 30ºC; at this body temperature pallid bats have unexpectedly low metabolic rates (Trune, 1974). By adjusting their positions and closeness to other bats in the thermal gradient within the crevice, bats dissipate heat early in the day, maintain a low metabolic rate through most of the fat and elevate the body temperature prior to emergence in the evening. Of vital important to pallid bats in the summer are social behaviors that promote communal roosting at "traditional" crevices.

Publication Year 1976
Title Roosting ecology of the pallid bat, Antrozous pallidus
DOI 10.2307/1379510
Authors Terry A. Vaughan, Thomas J. O'Shea
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Mammalogy
Index ID 70119558
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse