This insectivorous bat feeds amongst the vegetation of lower levels of the rainforest, where it navigates around the branches and hunts for its prey using echolocation. It emits ultrasonic shouts from its complex noseleaf and listens for the returning echo. This even enables the bat to distinguish between different species of fly according to their size and wingbeat (3).
Research is currently being carried out to elucidate the presence of two apparently different species in Peninsular Malaysia, based on echolocation frequency and size. Despite nearly identical appearances, the bicoloured leaf-nosed bat has been found to fall into two distinct groups. One has an echolocation call of between 127.0 to 134.4 kilohertz, with forearm and tibia lengths of more than 45 millimetres and 20 millimetres, respectively (10), and a lower weight, and shorter, wider wings with more rounded wingtips (9). These factors indicate that this bat may be more suited to hunting in cluttered space as it has greater agility in flight (9). The other has an echolocation call of 138.0 to 144.0 kilohertz and forearm and tibia lengths less than 43 millimetres and 19 millimetres, respectively (10).
The bicoloured leaf-nosed bat gives birth to one pup each year, which it must locate in the crowded roost after foraging trips. The mother does this by calling to her pup and listening for its reply. Once nearby, she uses pheromones to identify it. She will suckle it for some weeks before it learns to fly and forage alone. Bicoloured leaf-nosed bats become sexually mature at one year old (3).