Caught in the act: Bats use the sound of copulating flies as a cue for foraging
Noisy wing movements during mating make flies an easy prey
July 23, 2012
Mating at night does not necessarily lead to offspring, at least in flies: males produce a buzzing sound with their wings that can be perceived by bats. Stefan Greif from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, and colleagues, observed this in a long-term study on wild Natterer’s bats that eat the copulating flies in a double-sized meal. Flies that were just sitting or walking on the ceiling did not elicit a predatory response by the bats. This is the first experimental evidence how mating itself can be risky.