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A few questions on B. Giganteus


Keith
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I keep this species as pets, but always wondered about how they live in the wild. Remember answers may be different from the behavior of ones we domesticated.

1. Where do they come from?

2. I read they can live in bat caves or in trees, is that true, and do they sometimes move from lets say the cave to a tree nearby? Will a whole colony move together to another place like ant colonies do?

3. What is their main diet in caves/trees?

4. Do the adults for any reason fly (escape danger,travel,mating season, bad weather?) and if so do they fly from one cave/tree to another? How long can they substain flight being there is no limit of space for flight?

5. How long do they live in the wild generally, and do the nymphs take 1 year to mature in the wild or longer? Are wild specimens bigger/smaller/the same?

6. Anybody have photos of wild colonies?

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So in caves they eat baby bats and bat guano, interesting. :) Do you think when a baby bat falls they smell it and race towards it to eat, or do they just walk around and if they come by it start to eat it?

I also heard they live in trees, so i'd like to know if they only eat rotted wood of the tress, or mabye fungus,other insects,leaves,fruit,bark,etc..

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So in caves they eat baby bats and bat guano, interesting. :) Do you think when a baby bat falls they smell it and race towards it to eat, or do they just walk around and if they come by it start to eat it?

I also heard they live in trees, so i'd like to know if they only eat rotted wood of the tress, or mabye fungus,other insects,leaves,fruit,bark,etc..

Many of the larger trees with buttresses develope hollow cores, which are lined with rotten wood layer. These hollow trees become havens for bats. Additionally, giant roach species take up dwelling in the lower part of the hollow along with giant millipedes and other much smaller insects seeking refuge in the cracks. In the bottom part, there is the rotten wood walls with a deep pile of soil mixed with bat guano, decaying leaves, insect bits, and if you're lucky some roach nymphs.

Here are two pictures that I took from the inside of two different trees. I normally stick my camera in and point up, shoot, and look at the image BEFORE I stick my hand or head in there so I can see if there is something that bites first...cautionary habits! In each of these trees you can see a single bat looking back down at the camera. Occasionally I would see several bats, but they seem to prefer the top of the hollow for the most part:

(You can see a couple other bats in the background just above this ones head tucked in asleep):

CRBatinTreehollow.jpg

And the other tree (I seem to recall this one being about one kilometer away):

CRBatdifferenttreehollow.jpg

**Also, the baby bats die pretty soon after falling off thier mom....they need the body heat and food. Dead baby bats attract roaches....

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Cockroaches would normally just eat whatever leftovers the bats drop, NOT bats. I have not seen direct information whether they're normally found in caves with fruit eating or insect eating bats. Either way, keep in mind that bats drop scraps all the time which would support some roaches but if the roaches had to wait for the rare baby bat to die (often seasonally birthed) they'd have starved to death eons ago.

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What about sick/old bats that die, with possibly thousands/millions of bats in a colony, every day a few bats would die.

I kind of doubt they are associated with such large colonies. The photos Matt posted seem to suggest maybe several dozen bat occupying a large tree. They probably leave the caves/trees to forage in the surrounding rainforests as Mike observed the peppereds doing.

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Well, its like Orin said. Of course the roaches are opportunistic, and would eat a fallen baby bat or old/sick adult, but only because its dead or dying organic material that fell to the roaches dinner plate. Otherwise the bats drop pieces of insects that get eaten, and fruit bats typically have partially digested stools that contain edible food material. Roaches are the worlds janitorial crew.

I can say more on the Peppereds, but that really goes under a different thread (this one in on B.giganteus)

...click here to go to the Peppered roach topic I posted....

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