Seasonal fluctuations in the diet composition ofRhinopoma hardwickei in the Rajasthan desert
The small mouse-tailed bat,Rhinopoma hardwickei, collected from various districts of Rajasthan, is primarily an insectivorous species. Orthoptera, Dictyoptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera and Diptera are preferred in all main four seasons in varying amounts, while Isoptera are consumed in all but the winter season. Occurrence of ground dwelling insects, caterpillars, spiders and water beetles in the stomachs of bats have been discussed in the light of behavioural adaptations of this species. Presence of fur of same bat species in stomachs coincides with its breeding season. Presence of various polyphagous insect pest species of crops in feeding menu of bats shows that this species plays an important role in biological management of harmful insects.