The majority of species in the family Hipposideridae are only poorly known. They are a diverse group and exhibit a variety of life history strategies, social structures, and behaviors. Some northern populations of this family hibernate, such as some of the genus Hipposideros, while others are active year-round, and
A roundleaf horseshoe bat (Hipposideros larvatus). (Photo by Gerry El-lis/Minden Pictures. Reproduced by permission.)
The orange form of a dusky leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros ater) flying out of an old mine. (Photo by B. G. Thomson. Reproduced by permission.)
A northern leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros stenotis) roosting in a cave. (Photo by © Jiri Lochman/Lochman Transparencies. Reproduced by permission.)
A northern leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros stenotis). (Photo by B. G. Thomson. Reproduced by permission.)
Hipposideros bicolor fly lower than most bats to feed on ground-dwelling insects. (Photo by Brock Fenton. Reproduced by permission.)
A Commerson's leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros commersoni). (Photo by © Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International. Reproduced by permission.)
A dusky leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros ater) using its claws to hang upside down. (Photo by B. G. Thomson. Reproduced by permission.)
only one species is thought to migrate. Most roost in groups varying in size from small (as few as 12) to very large (5,000) congregations, though some are solitary. Roosting often occurs in caves and tunnels, but some species also roost in hollow trees, human structures, and the burrows of animals. The fulvus roundleaf bat (Hipposideros fulvus) roosts in African porcupine (Hystrix) burrows.
Many hipposiderid species have a small sac that sits behind the nose leaf. The sac secretes a waxy substance and is mainly found in males, suggesting the possibility that it is used in social or reproductive interactions for attracting mates or for male competiton.
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