Bats in daylight.

This may just be a behavioral curiosity, but I can’t help wonder if the devastation from white-nose fungus is playing more havoc than we realize. I don’t see a connection, but still – it’s weird. Scientists in Italy have found a bat population that doesn’t come out to hunt at night:

“One late afternoon, walking in the woodland, we spotted some bats flying unusually early,” Dr Russo explains.

“We thought the phenomenon might be occasional, as sometimes happens, so we came back at the same time on the following days and the bats were there.”

The scientists established that the bats are soprano pipistrelles (Pipistrellus pygmaeus), a species with a high-pitched call that is closely related to the common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus).

Individual bats are sometimes seen flying during the day. But they usually do so soon after hibernation, when they are starving and need to replace fat reserves depleted during the winter.

“But this behaviour, performed systematically, was absolutely new to us.”

If you’re not clued in to the white-nose fungus problem, read this short pdf. Then think about how many mosquitoes a single bat can eat in a day. And worry about what that means.