Bats observed hunting insect prey - any evidence of “handedness” (laterality) in circular flight pattern?

Bats observed hunting insect prey - any evidence of “handedness” (laterality) in circular flight pattern?

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Whilst watching a bat hunting on the wing at dusk (most likely was a species common to my urban UK location, e.g. pipistrelle) its flight pattern around the garden comprised circles, several metres in diameter, but I'm reasonably sure going in the same direction - in this case it seemed always to be turning to its left. (The circular flight pattern is something I've observed many times.) Is there any evidence in bats of a preferred direction of circular "sweep" whilst hunting? More generally, are bats known to exhibit left/right- handedness (or laterality in technical-speak) and does/could this manifest itself in flight patterns?

What I've already tried to answer my question:

Searched this site for related questions/answers + tried Internet searches with variations on circular flight for bats- results included a 2013 Nature paper, Bandyopadhyay, P., Leinhos, H. & Hellum, A. Handedness helps homing in swimming and flying animals. Sci Rep 3, 1128 (2013). - fascinating stuff re. handedness and advantages for homing, but the brown bat featured was trained and observed under controlled lab conditions. Hoped that someone here with knowledge of the subject could provide a research paper/book ref., etc. I posted this question out of simple curiosity - I'm not a biologist and so don't have institutional access to many papers (just the Abstracts).

Paolo Zucca, Alessandra Palladini, Luigi Baciadonna, Dino Scaravelli. "Handedness in the echolocating Schreiber's Long-Fingered Bat (Miniopterus schreibersii)" Behavioural Processes, Volume 84, Issue 3, 2010, Pages 693-695, ISSN 0376-6357,

  • Paywalled - only the abstract is visible.

Found using Google Scholar with search terms:handedness,microchiroptera

Watch the video: Rare footage of high-speed bats hunting for insects (May 2022).