Fish and amphibians as bat predators

Open access

Abstract

Although bats (Chiroptera) belong to the most diverse mammalian orders, study of diversity of their natural predators has been seriously neglected for a long time. While some recent reviews contain comprehensive overviews of our recent knowledge on these phenomena for some animal groups, such work is still lacking for anamniotes - fishes and amphibians. Here, I am summarising bat predation incidences by anamniotes that were published in scientific journals and public web domains. I found out that at least 14 species of fishes and 14 species of frogs were observed as feeding on bats. Moreover, 7 and 16 species of bats were recorded as victims of hunting activity of fishes and frogs, respectively. Majority of localised incidences came from the New World; frog (between latitude 49°N to 28°S) attacks were distributed mainly in tropical or subtropical areas < 30° from equator (70% of all records), fish (44°N to 20°S) incidences reach same proportion in colder areas (> 30° from equator) and warmer areas. In some cases, these predators can regularly feed on bats, especially when hunting near roosting places of bats; however, with respect to number of recorded cases (21 for fishes and 37 for amphibians), bat predation by anamniotes seems to be very rare and opportunistic with only very limited influence on bat populations or their behaviour.

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