The hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus) is a species found throughout North America where it undergoes long-distance seasonal migration. Recently, pairs of males were observed flying together during migration. Furthermore, when only one male was caught, the other male would circle around the area and the two bats would call to each other. This suggests a strong social bond between the two males. Since the hoary bat is known to regularly produce twins, it is possible that the co-migrating males are related. To determine whether these males are related, wing tissue samples were collected from the male pairs as well as from the general migrating population and these samples were genotyped at 14-15 microsatellite loci. A genetic analysis of relatedness will be performed later.
Faculty Mentor: Amy Russell, Biology