Biology ETDs

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An earlier study of the food habits of bats of New Mexico (Black, 1972) indicated that Myotis auriculus and Myotis evotis, while extremely similar in morphology, differ in food preferences in the tested area of sympatry, M. auriculus relying heavily on moths, while M. evotis preys largely upon beetles. The resulting question was: Does this difference persist in areas of allopatry, indicating that each species has evolved as a food specialist, or does each species, in the absence of its close competitor, eat both moths and beetles without a strong preference?

If the latter were true, it would suggest that character displacement in feeding behavior has resulted in partitioning of the food resources in the area of sympatry. The two species were collected in mist nets in known areas of allopatry during the summer of 1972. Fecal samples were collected and analyzed using Black's (1972) technique. The results indicate that differences in food habits of both species, when found in the absence of the other, are not statistically significant.



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UNM Biology Department

First Committee Member (Chair)

James Smith Findley

Second Committee Member

J. David Ligon

Third Committee Member

Michael L. Rosenzweig

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