Feeding ecology and diet

Smaller species of slit-faced bats feed almost entirely on arthropods, typically insects such as moths, beetles, and crickets, but also spiders, centipedes, and scorpions. Larger species of nycterids also eat small vertebrates such as fish, frogs, birds, and other bats. Slit-faced bats often hunt from a perch, dropping to the ground to grab passing prey, or snatching it from the foliage or branches or trunks of trees.

An Egyptian slit-faced bat (Nycteris thebaica) feeding on an insect. (Photo by Brock Fenton. Reproduced by permission.)

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