During the winter of 2003-2004 feces were collected from a winter colony of the long-fingered bat (Myotis capaccinii) in the Hazorea cave (north-west Israel). Of the 1913 feces that were examined, 234 contained scales of Gambusia affinis - a small fish that had been introduced to Israel around 1920 in order to control mosquito larvae. The remains of spiders and five insect orders were also represented in the feces. This is the first report of a piscivorous bat in the Middle East and the first finding of fish remains in the feces of M. capaccinii. The findings show that in the north of Israel this species does not hibernate but remains active throughout the winter. It appears that the consumption of G. affinis reflects a change in the diet of these bats from insectivory to semi-piscivory.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Menachem Goren for advice, Naomi Paz for editing the manuscript, Hans- Ulrich Schnitzler, Bjorn Siemers and Chrisitian Dietz for fruitful discussions and Amit Dolev for assistance in the fieldwork. This work was supported by The Open University of Israel Research Fund.
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- Gambusia affinis
- Israel, piscivory
- Myotis capaccinii