Tuesday 18 June
Hollow-faced bat (Nycteris tragata)
Hollow-faced bat fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Hollow-faced bat description
This species is named after the deep slit running down the face, from a central point between the eyes down to the nostrils. This is, in fact, part of the noseleaf, which the hollow-faced bat needs for echolocation. Folds of skin extend from either side of the slit to direct echolocation calls with great accuracy, leaving little space for the minute eyes. The ears are brown and particularly long, with a short, rounded tragus (inner ear). The tail is commonly equal in length to the head and body, and is enclosed in a membrane that stretches between the hind legs (the interfemoral membrane). A tiny triangular cut in the membrane where the tail reaches the edge helps to identify the species. The hollow-faced bat is very furry, with a greyish-brown back, paler underside, and even brown fur on the forearms. The wings are very broad and short, with a large area of membrane above the forearm (known as the propatagium). This gives the bat great agility, but reduces its flight speed (2).
- Also known as
- Malayan slit-faced bat.
- Nycteris javanicus tragata.
- Head-and-body length: 50 - 65 mm (2)
- Tail length: 65 – 80 mm (2)
- Forearm length: 47 - 63 mm (2)
- 14 - 19 grams (2)
- Detecting objects by reflected sound. Used for orientation and detecting and locating prey by bats and cetacea (whales and dolphins).
- Primary forest
- Forest that has remained undisturbed for a long time and has reached a mature condition.
- A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.
- IUCN Red List (June, 2009)
- Kingston, T. (2005) Pers. comm.
- Nor, S. (1996) The Mammalian Fauna on the islands at the Northern Tip of Sabah, Borneo. Fieldiana – Zoology, 83: 17 - 28.
- Van Cakenbergh, V. and De Vree, F. (1993) The systematic status of Southeast Asian Nycteris. Mammalia, 57(2): 227 - 244.
- Altringham, J. (2001) Bats: Biology and Behaviour. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Europa World (January, 2005)
- Maltby, A. (2005) Pers. comm.
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Hollow-faced bat biology
Although this insect-eating species is capable of complex echolocation calls involving a rapid, low intensity sweep of the frequency range, it is also thought to hunt simply by listening for sounds made by the insects themselves. Its large wing area and comparatively low body weight allows it to take off nearly vertically from the forest floor when hunting, possibly with heavy prey (2). It tends to hover over its prey before snatching it up into the air (5).
There are thought to be two breeding seasons per year, with females giving birth to a single pup (2). At first the pup is carried in foraging flights, which may well limit the diet of the hollow-faced bat, as it can only take lighter prey. The pup learns quickly to fly and forage alone, and at one year old will be sexually mature (2).Top
Hollow-faced bat range
Found in Burma, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo (3). Nycteris tragata was previously thought to be a subspecies of Nycteris javanica, which occurs on Java. However, size differences led to a genetic investigation, which confirmed that two species are present (4).Top
Hollow-faced bat habitat
A tropical forest-dwelling bat, the hollow-faced bat has been found at all altitudes, and is known to roost in small groups in tree holes, rotten fallen trees, and rock crevices (2).Top
Hollow-faced bat status
The hollow-faced bat is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Hollow-faced bat threats
The rapid increase in land devoted to growing oil palm has resulted in extensive loss of primary forest. Together, Malaysia and Indonesia export 88% of the world’s palm oil, for use in products such as margarine, lipstick and detergent. Deforestation continues at a steady rate for conversion to agricultural land and building communities, and despite the contribution of many bats in the control of insect crop pests, persecution of bats is also a threat (6).Top
Hollow-faced bat conservation
Deforestation of primary forest for oil palm plantations, including within protected areas, is an issue of major concern and one that relies on both governmental action and consumer concern. Some large retailers have agreed, in collaboration with the WWF, to source products containing palm oil from plantations that are not on deforested land (6). Many scientific and charitable groups contribute to bat monitoring and local education programmes that can help to reduce persecution and raise awareness of the natural assets of the land (7).Top
AuthenticationThis information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: email@example.comTop
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.