Sugars are complementary resources to ethanol in foods consumed by Egyptian fruit bats Academic Article uri icon


  • Food resources are complementary for a forager if their contribution to fitness is higher when consumed together than when consumed independently, eg ingesting one may reduce the toxic effects of another. The concentration of potentially toxic ethanol,[EtOH], in fleshy fruit increases during ripening and affects food choices by Egyptian fruit bats, becoming deterrent at high concentrations (⩾ 1%). However, ethanol toxicity is apparently reduced when ingested along with some sugars; more with fructose than with sucrose or glucose. We predicted (1) that ingested ethanol is eliminated faster by bats eating fructose than by bats eating sucrose or glucose,(2) that the marginal value of fructose-containing food (food+ fructose) increases with increasing [EtOH] more than the marginal value of sucrose-or glucose-containing food (food+ sucrose, food+ glucose), and (3) that by increasing [EtOH] …

publication date

  • January 1, 2008