It has been observed in previous studies that Hemprich long-eared bats (Otonycteris hemprichii) are frequently stung during predation attacks on scorpions. Although a highly toxic and dangerous prey, the scorpion toxicity does not kill the bat. The sting, however, does seem to inflict a great amount of pain. Here, we examine the role of bat vision in predator-prey interactions between a similar bat species, pallid bats (Antrozous pallidus) and northern scorpions (Paruroctonus boreus). We address the question: do bats use visual information provided by moonlight to plan attacks on dangerous prey? We predicted that under moonlit conditions, pallid bats would plan attacks on scorpion prey, therefore, being stung less often. Our experiments took place in a flight room in both simulated moonlight and complete darkness. The interactions were recorded live by three high-definition cameras mounted in three separate corners of the interaction arena.

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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Jesse Barber