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Table 1 Key differences in social system of the two host species

From: The effect of host social system on parasite population genetic structure: comparative population genetics of two ectoparasitic mites and their bat hosts

  Greater mouse-eared bat Bechstein’s bat Predicted effect on parasite population genetic structure Reference
  Myotis myotis Myotis bechsteinii   
Social organization     
Colony size Large (50–2000) Small (10–50) Larger colonies lead to less genetic drift [17]
Female natal philopatry High; but occasional exchange of individuals between colonies Very high; almost no exchange of individuals between colonies Lower philopatry leads to more parasite transmission [31, 53]
Roost fidelity High; one site (building/cave) throughout summer Very low; frequent roost switching (tree cavities) and fission-fusion dynamics Fission-fusion dynamics may increase genetic drift because colonies split into subgroups [17, 54]
Hibernation Free-hanging; solitary or clustered In crevices (mostly solitary) Solitary roosting reduces parasite transmission [17]
Mating system Temporary harems (extensive contact) and/or swarming (little contact) Swarming (little contact) Temporary harems increase parasite transmission [14, 16]
  1. Overview of the key differences in social system between the greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis) and Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii), and the expected effects thereof on the population genetic structure of their parasites.