No evidence of hyperphagia during prehibernation in a northern population of little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus)

Liam P. McGuire, K. A. Muise, A. Shrivastav, C. K.R. Willis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


During autumn, temperate bats must deposit fat stores for hibernation. Populations at high latitudes face four challenges: a shorter active season and shorter nights during the active season (less time to accumulate fat), a longer hibernation period (larger fat store needed), and colder nights (reduced prey availability). Mating also occurs during the prehibernation period, placing time constraints for mating and fattening on northern populations. We tested the hypothesis that these factors constrain prehibernation foraging in northern populations of little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus (Le Conte, 1831)).Wemeasured plasma triglyceride concentration to study prehibernation fueling rates of a population near the northern range limit of the species and compared our results with previously published results from a more southern population. In contrast to bats at the lower latitude, we found consistently low concentrations of plasma triglycerides, indicating a low fuelling rate throughout the prehibernation period. However, despite an apparently low fuelling rate, bats achieved a substantially greater body mass. The discrepancy between populations suggests that environmental constraints lead northern populations to employ different behavioural or physiological strategies to prepare for hibernation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-827
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 30 2016


  • Energetics
  • Environmental constraints
  • Little brown bat
  • Myotis lucifugus
  • Plasma triglyceride analysis
  • Temperature
  • Torpor


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