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Life History and Ecology of Myotis austroriparius in Florida

Dale W. Rice
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1376471 15-32 First published online: 25 February 1957

Bats of the species Myotis austroriparius are remarkable for their disjunct distribution. The three races of this species are found in widely separated geographical areas which differ greatly in environmental conditions. Myotis a. mumfordi occurs in south-central Indiana (Rice, 1955a), in extreme southern Illinois (Smith and Parmalee, 1954), and in central Arkansas (Davis et al., 1955); M. a. gatesi occurs in Louisiana (Lowery, 1943); and M. a. austroriparius occurs in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. This wide distribution has offered an excellent opportunity to determine how behavior, social organization, and population dynamics have been modified to meet the varying ecology of this species.

Virtually nothing has been published on the natural history of Myotis austroriparius. The present study was undertaken to determine the general features of the life history and ecology of these bats. The field work on which this report is based extended from February 1953 to June 1955. Besides shooting, mist-netting, and collecting in outside roosting sites, I visited every known cave colony of bats in Florida. In addition, data recorded by the Florida Speleological Society prior to this investigation were available to me. I have observed well over a million bats in the field, and have individually examined 13,169 for sex, age, reproductive condition, parasites, and other data. Numbered bands were placed on 2,751 bats, from which 706 returns, repeats and recoveries were obtained by the end of 1955.

Acknowledgments.—I am indebted to the officers and members of the Florida Speleological Society, especially Robert B. Cumming, Richard Bennett, and Donald Martin, for their fine cooperation and assistance in the field. The following students and faculty members of the University of Florida Department of Biology have aided me in the field on numerous occasions: David K. Caldwell, Edwin H. McConkey, H. B. Sherman, Gerald E. …

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