With a small body and short, rounded wings, the brown tube-nosed bat has a high degree of flight control, enabling it to pass nimbly amongst the leaves and branches of the forest. It feeds on flying insects, detecting their presence with ultrasonic shouts of around 85 kHz. Listening for the returning echo of their shouts, the bat is able to distinguish an insect from its surroundings, using such detail as the movement of its tiny beating wings. As it approaches the insect the speed of its echolocation pulses quickens, to give pinpoint precision for the capture of its prey (3).
During the breeding season, female brown tube-nosed bats gather into small groups called maternity roosts. Each female gives birth to a single pup that can weigh up to a quarter of her weight. Initially, the young pup clings to its mother’s belly when on foraging flights, but soon learns to fly alone and capture insects itself. A year after birth the young become sexually mature and will mate (3).