ABS 2022
Landing manoeuvres predict roost-site preferences in bats  
Gloriana Chaverri1,2, Marcelo Araya-Salas1, Jose Pablo Barrantes3, Tere Uribe-Etxebarria4, Marcela Peña-Acuña5, Angie Liz Varela6, Joxerra Aihartza7. 1Universidad de Costa Rica, Golfito, Puntarenas, Costa Rica; 2Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Ancón, Panama; 3Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, San José, Costa Rica; 4No formal affiliation, Kristo Zeharkalea, Leioa, Spain; 5Universidad del Atlántico Medio, Tafira Baja, Las Palmas, Spain; 6No formal affiliation, Río Segundo, Alajuela, Costa Rica; 7University of the Basque Country, Sarriena, Leioa, Spain

Roosts are vital for the survival of many species, and how individuals choose one site over another is affected by various ecological factors. Biomechanical constraints could also affect roost selection, particularly in volant taxa that require sites with easy access, thereby reducing costs (i.e., predation, accidents). To date, no studies have established an association between landing performance and roost-site selection, as predicted by biomechanical constraints associated with flight. We aim to determine roost-site selection in disc-winged bats (Thyroptera tricolor), a species known to roost within developing tubular leaves. This study is coupled with various experiments that measure how a conspicuous apex affects landing tactics and performance. We show that T. tricolor prefers leaves with a longer apex, the space typically used for landing. Bats also approach and enter these leaves more consistently, increasing task performance while reducing the risk of injuries.