Research interests

  • Bats (Chiroptera)
  • Foraging behaviour
  • Visual senses
  • Tropical ecology




Scientific projects

The tropical bat species Chiroderma villosum is distinguished from other bats by very big eyes. In my dissertation I am going to test if the fig-eating C. villosum has better visual senses than other fruit eating bats with smaller eyes and if they use these senses for foraging. In different behavioral tests, which are conducted under (semi-) natural conditions, I will test the single sensory achievements, echo detection, fruit odour properties, and eyesight of C. villosum and Artibeus watsoni and compare them with each other. The location for this project will be Barro Colorado Island in Panama at the field station of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Furthermore I will use radio telemetry to find out whether C. villosum fly longer distances during food searches than other fruit eating bats.


Conference contributions

Wagner I, Tschapka M, Kalko EKV (2012) Nutrient gain through unusual feeding behaviour in the seed-predating bat Chiroderma villosum (Phyllostomidae). VIth European Conference on Behavioural Biology, Essen, Germany 19-22 July, 2012

Brändel S, Wagner I, Bengelsdorf F, Mack A, Diebolder R, Stegmann B, Tschapka M, Haller B, Hibst R, Kalko EKV, Dürre P (2012).
Sweet tooth with good teeth – low percentage of dental caries in the Neotropical frugivorous bat A. jamaicensis and probable causes.
Poster presented at the at the Annual Conference of the Society for Tropical Ecology, gtö, Erfurt, Germany (Maria Sibylla Merian Award for Best Poster)

Wagner I, Kalko EKV (2011). Die Rolle des Sehsinnes bei der frugivoren Fledermaus Chiroderma villosum zur Nahrungsdetektion, -klassifikation und -lokalisation. Talk presented at the workgroup meeting of bat researchers, Loccum near Hannover, Germany

Wagner I, Kalko EKV (2011). Cheating on the mutualistic contract: Seed-predation in the (frugivorous) bat Chiroderma villosum (Phyllostomidae). Talk presentet  at the at the Annual Conference of the Society for Tropical Ecology, gtö, Frankfurt, Germany

Wagner I, Kalko EKV (2010). Big eyes, but for what? The role of vision, echolocation and olfaction in the foraging behaviour of the big-eyed bat Chiroderma villosum (Phyllostomidae). Talk and Poster presented at the 15th International Bat Research Conference, 23.-27. August 2010, Prague, Czech Republic


  • Dipl. Biol. Insa Wagner
  • Institute of Experimental Ecology
  • University of Ulm
  • Albert Einstein Allee 11
  • D 89069 Ulm, Germany
  • Tel. +49 (0)731 50 22661
  • Fax +49 (0)731 50 22683