+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Torpor and thermal energetics in a tiny Australian vespertilionid, the little forest bat (Vespadelus vulturnus)

Torpor and thermal energetics in a tiny Australian vespertilionid, the little forest bat (Vespadelus vulturnus)

Journal of Comparative Physiology. B, Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology 175(7): 479-486

Data on thermal energetics for vespertilionid bats are under-represented in the literature relative to their abundance, as are data for bats of very small body mass. Therefore, we studied torpor use and thermal energetics in one of the smallest (4 g) Australian vespertilionids, Vespadelus vulturnus. We used open-flow respirometry to quantify temporal patterns of torpor use, upper and lower critical temperatures (T (uc) and T (lc)) of the thermoneutral zone (TNZ), basal metabolic rate (BMR), resting metabolic rate (RMR), torpid metabolic rate (TMR), and wet thermal conductance (C (wet)) over a range of ambient temperatures (T (a)). We also measured body temperature (T (b)) during torpor and normothermia. Bats showed a high proclivity for torpor and typically aroused only for brief periods. The TNZ ranged from 27.6 degrees C to 33.3 degrees C. Within the TNZ T (b) was 33.3+/-0.4 degrees C and BMR was 1.02+/-0.29 ml O(2) g(-1) h(-1) (5.60+/-1.65 mW g(-1)) at a mean body mass of 4.0+/-0.69 g, which is 55 % of that predicted for a 4 g bat. Minimum TMR of torpid bats was 0.014+/-0.006 ml O(2) g(-1) h(-1) (0.079+/-0.032 mW g(-1)) at T (a)=4.6+/-0.4 degrees C and T (b)=7.5+/-1.9. T (lc) and C (wet) of normothermic bats were both lower than that predicted for a 4 g bat, which indicates that V. vulturnus is adapted to minimising heat loss at low T (a). Our findings support the hypothesis that vespertilionid bats have evolved energy-conserving physiological traits, such as low BMR and proclivity for torpor.

Please choose payment method:

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 023994954

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 16088391

DOI: 10.1007/s00360-005-0008-0

Related references

Reproduction in the bats Vespadelus vulturnus, Vespadelus regulus and Vespadelus darlingtoni (Microchiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in coastal south-eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology 41(1): 21-35, 1993

Accidental importation of an Australian bat (Mammalia: Chiroptera: Vespadelus vulturnus ) into New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 25(4): 455-456, 1998

Day roost selection by female little forest bats (Vespadelus vulturnus) within remnant woodland on Phillip Island, Victoria. Wildlife Research 32(2): 183-191, 2005

Range extension of the little forest bat Vespadelus vulturnus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) into a semi-arid area of central Queensland, Australia. Australian Zoologist. April; 304: 392-397, 1998

Sex differences in seasonal changes of brown adipose tissue and activity of the australian vespertilionid bat eptesicus vulturnus. Australian Journal of Zoology 30(1): 15-22, 1982

Energetics, thermal biology and torpor in Australian bats. 2005

Torpor, thermal biology, and energetics in Australian long-eared bats (Nyctophilus). Journal of Comparative Physiology B Biochemical Systemic and Environmental Physiology 170(2): 153-162, 2000

Reproduction in the bats Vespadelus vulturnus, V. regulus and V. darlingtoni (Microchiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in coastal South-eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology, 411: 21-35, 1993

Thermal biology, energetics, and torpor in the possums and gliders. Unknown, 2004

Hibernation and torpor Torpor in birds Taxonomy, energetics, and ecology. Comparative Biochemistry & Physiology Part A Molecular & Integrative Physiology 134A(Suppl 1): S91, 2003

Thermal energetics and torpor in the common pipistrelle bat, Pipistrellus pipistrellus (Vespertilionidae: Mammalia). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A, Molecular and Integrative Physiology 160(2): 252-259, 2011

Pattern of torpor use by free-ranging Australian forest bats. Bat Research News 42(3): 125, Fall, 2001

Is torpor only an advantage? Effect of thermal environment on torpor use in the Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 57 Suppl 8: 83-92, 2007

Effects of reproductive condition, roost microclimate, and weather patterns on summer torpor use by a vespertilionid bat. Ecology and Evolution 4(2): 157-166, 2014

Seasonal variations in thermal energetics of Australian silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis). Journal of Zoology (London) 252(3): 327-333, 2000