Behaviour 2019
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Orange Nectar Bats Avoid Foraging Near Common O’possums
Julia E. Barnfield1, Faith E. Kipnis1, Tifani L. Panek1, Max F. Rollfinke1, Tiffany A. Haydt1, Eleanor S. Diamant 2, Mark T. Stanback1. 1Davidson College, Davidson, NC, United States; 2UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, United States

We examined whether Orange Nectar Bats (Lonchophylla robusta) reduce their visitation to a hummingbird feeder when Common O’possums (Didelphis marsupialis) were present within 1 m. We collected data using a live web cam located in Panama, where we observed feedings by bats when o’possums were present on (or absent from) a platform located directly under the hummingbird feeder. We hypothesized that bats would recognize an o’possum as a potential predator and would reduce their foraging rate when an o’possum was present.  When we compared the feeding rate of bats when o’possums were present vs. during an interval of similar length immediately prior to the o’possum visit, we found a significantly lower bat feeding rate (though not an absence of bats) in the presence of o’possums.  This supports our hypothesis that orange nectar bats recognize o’possums as potential predators.