The echolocation sounds of Japanese CF–FM bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum nippon) were measured while the bats pursued a moth (Goniocraspidum pryeri) in a flight chamber. Using a 31-channel microphone array system, we investigated how CF–FM bats adjust pulse direction and beam width according to prey position. During the search and approach phases, the horizontal and vertical beam widths were ±22±5 and ±13±5 deg, respectively. When bats entered the terminal phase approximately 1 m from a moth, distinctive evasive flight by G. pryeri was sometimes observed. Simultaneously, the bats broadened the beam widths of some emissions in both the horizontal (44% of emitted echolocation pulses) and vertical planes (71%). The expanded beam widths were ±36±7 deg (horizontal) and ±30±9 deg (vertical). When moths began evasive flight, the tracking accuracy decreased compared with that during the approach phase. However, in 97% of emissions during the terminal phase, the beam width was wider than the misalignment (the angular difference between the pulse and target directions). These findings indicate that bats actively adjust their beam width to retain the moving target within a spatial echolocation window during the final capture stages.
This work was partly supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (grant no. 20200055), a Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (grant no. 21760318) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and an Office of Naval Research grant (grant no. 00014-07-1-0858).
- © 2013. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd