Reproduction can be risky. In the case of katydids, some hunting bats eavesdrop on male mating calls to locate the insects, but little is known about the risk to mates as they move toward each other. A recent study by scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and collaborating institutions explores the hunting behaviour of a Neotropical bat, asking whether prey movement adds to the risk that they will be eaten.
Inga Geipel, a Tupper postdoctoral fellow at STRI and lead author of the study, and her colleagues, observed the predation behaviour of Micronycteris microtis, a gleaning bat species that loves to eat katydids, as they responded to different prey behaviour. Common in Central and South America, M. microtis can detect silent and motionless prey through echolocation alone. MORE
Header image: Christian Ziegler.