Social animals regularly face the problem of relocating conspecifics when separated. Communication is one of the most important mechanisms facilitating group formation and cohesion. Known as contact calls, signals exchanged between conspecifics that permit group maintenance are widespread across many taxa. Foliage-roosting bats are an excellent model system for studying the evolution of contact calling, as there are opportunities to compare closely related species that exhibit major differences in ecology and behavior. Further, foliage-roosting bats rely on relatively ephemeral roosts, which leads to major challenges in maintaining group cohesion. Here, we report findings on the communication signals produced by two tent-making bats, Dermanura watsoni and Ectophylla alba. We found that both species produced calls in the early morning near the roost that were associated with roostmate recruitment. Calling often ended once other bats arrived at the tent, suggesting that calls may be involved in roostmate recruitment and group formation. The structure and function of these calls are described and future research directions are discussed. © 2013 Gillam et al.
Gillam, E. H., Chaverri, G., Montero, K., & Sagot, M. (2013). Social Calls Produced within and near the Roost in Two Species of Tent-Making Bats, Dermanura watsoni and Ectophylla alba. PLoS ONE, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0061731