Throughout evolution the foraging and echolocation behaviors as well as the motor systems of bats have been adapted to the tasks they have to perform while searching and acquiring food. When bats exploit the same class of environmental resources in a similar way, they perform comparable tasks and thus share similar adaptations independent of their phylogeny. Species with similar adaptations are assigned to guilds or functional groups. Habitat type and foraging mode mainly determine the foraging tasks and thus the adaptations of bats. Therefore, we use habitat type and foraging mode to define seven guilds. The habitat types open, edge and narrow space are defined according to the bats' echolocation behavior in relation to the distance between bat and background or food item and background. Bats foraging in the aerial, trawling, flutter detecting, or active gleaning mode use only echolocation to acquire their food. When foraging in the passive gleaning mode bats do not use echolocation but rely on sensory cues from the food item to find it. Bat communities often comprise large numbers of species with a high diversity in foraging areas, foraging modes, and diets. The assignment of species living under similar constraints into guilds identifies patterns of community structure and helps to understand the factors that underlie the organization of highly diverse bat communities. Bat species from different guilds do not compete for food as they differ in their foraging behavior and in the environmental resources they use. However, sympatric living species belonging to the same guild often exploit the same class of resources. To avoid competition they should differ in their niche dimensions. The fine grain structure of bat communities below the rather coarse classification into guilds is determined by mechanisms that result in niche partitioning.