Resource distribution and social structure in harem-forming Old World fruit bats

variations on a polygynous theme

Polly Campbell, Zubaid Akbar Mukhtar Ahmad, Adura M. Adnan, Thomas H. Kunz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The prediction that the spatial dispersion of resources that are important to females should dictate female dispersion and male mating tactics has not been previously tested in harem-forming bats. We investigated the relation between the estimated spatial distribution of available roosts, female group size, male roost fidelity and the strength of social associations in two species of harem-forming fruit bats in the genus Cynopterus. We evaluated the daily movements of individuals and groups among roosts using radiotelemetry and roost censuses at two sites in northern peninsular Malaysia. We found a high correspondence between the distribution of roost sites, female group size and male behaviour, supporting the prediction that clumped resources would promote female aggregation and high roost fidelity in males. However, there were significant interspecific differences in the strength of male-female associations, which suggested that, where roosts are abundant and similar in quality, regardless of their spatial distribution, the potential for males to monopolize mates depends on whether females move among roosts with, or independently of, males. We propose that interspecific differences in female behaviour may be related to the costs of moving between clumped versus randomly dispersed males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-698
Number of pages12
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume72
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006

Fingerprint

harem
Pteropodidae
social structure
bat
fruit
resource
group size
Chiroptera
roost site
spatial distribution
Cynopterus
female behavior
male behavior
radiotelemetry
prediction
distribution
radio telemetry
census
Malaysia
fruits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Resource distribution and social structure in harem-forming Old World fruit bats : variations on a polygynous theme. / Campbell, Polly; Mukhtar Ahmad, Zubaid Akbar; Adnan, Adura M.; Kunz, Thomas H.

In: Animal Behaviour, Vol. 72, No. 3, 09.2006, p. 687-698.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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