Mauritian tomb bat

Taphozous mauritianus




Taphozous mauritianus Geoffroy, 1818, Mauritius.

OTHER COMMON NAMES German: Mauritius Grabfledermaus.


Head and body length 2.9-3.6 in (75-93 mm); forearm 2.3-2.5 in (58-65 mm); weight 0.7-1.3 oz (20-36 g). Dorsal fur brownish gray speckled with white; ventral side almost pure white. Both sexes may have a throat pocket. In Nigeria and Mozambique, this pocket is present only in males, whereas it can be found in both sexes in Sudan (although more pronounced in the male sex). In West Africa, males have a functioning sac and females have a vestigial pouch.


Sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, Mauritius, Assumption Island, Aldabra Island, and Reunion.


Daytime roosts in tree trunks, rock faces, or the external walls of buildings. Predominantly open savanna, sometimes semi-deciduous forests.


Initially discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs by the scientists who accompanied Napoleon on his campaign. The name tomb bat is basically unjustified, because these animals are not generally associated with tombs. Daytime roosts are found in rather open spaces that are occasionally penetrated by daylight, such as underneath roofs or on walls. In colonies, individuals roost as pairs in close association. Individuals move quickly sideways or upwards when disturbed.


A fast aerial hunter of insects, mostly moths. A long-range feeding strategy has been observed.


Monestrous in some areas of its distribution range and polye-strous in others. Most likely polygynous.


Not threatened.


Common name /

Scientific name/


Habitat and


Other common names



Distribution Diet


Lesser sac-winged bat

Dorsal fur chocolate-brown with two

Lowland deciduous and ever

From Chiapas and Small Insects.


Saccopteryx leptura

distinct yellowish or whitish lines,

green forests. Roosts below

Tabasco (Mexico) and

English: Lesser white-lined bat;

underparts brown, brown wings and tail

large branches or at tree

Belize to Brazil,

German: Kleine

membrane. Females sligthly larger than

trunks in groups of one to

Including Peru,

Taschenfllgelfledermaus, Kleine

males. Head and body length 1.5-2 in

nine animals. Each group

Guianas, Magarita

Sackflügelfledermaus; Spanish:

(3.8-5.1 cm), forearm 1.4-1.7 in

defends a foraging territory

Islands, Trinidad, and

Murciéago de la Delgada,

(3.7-4.4 cm), weight 0.1-0.2 oz (3-6 g).

against neighbors.


murciélago de listas y de cola

Echolocation calls at about


55 kHz.

Lesser dog-faced bat

Dorsal fur reddish brown or dark brown,

Colonies usually consist of

Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Insects.

Not listed by

Peropteryx macrotis

ventral fur grayish brown. Face naked

10 to 20 individuals, but

Yucatán (Mexico) to


English: Doglike bat, lesser

with a long fringe of hair on forehead.

sometimes as many as 80

Peru, Paraguay, and

doglike bat, Peters's sac-winged

Wing membranes blackish. Head and

bats may be found. Daytime

south and east Brazil,

bat; Spanish: Murciélago orejon

body length 1.6-2.1 in (4.2-5.5 cm),

roosts in caves, shallow

Tobago, Magarita,

forearm 1.5-1.7 in (3.8-4.45 cm),

crevices, Maya buildings,

Aruba, Trinidad,

weight 0.14-0.25 oz (4-7 g).

and churches. Often near

Grenada (Lesser

water. Lowlands to 2,300 ft


(700 m).


Common name / Scientific name/ Other common names

Physical characteristics

Habitat and behavior



Conservation status

Chestnut sac-winged bat Cormura brevirostris English: Wagner's sac-winged bat; German: Kastanienfarbige Sackflügelfledermaus; Spanish: Murciélago chato

Shaggy-haired bat Centronycteris centralis English: Thomas's bat; Spanish: Murciélago de Thomas

Seychelles sheath-tailed bat Coleura seychellensis

Egyptian tomb bat Taphozous perforatus German: Ägyptische Grabfledermaus

Black-bearded tomb bat Taphozous melanopogon German: Schwarzbartige Grabfledermaus

Giant pouched bat Saccolaimus peli

Pacific sheath-tailed bat Emballonura semicaudata

Upperparts chestnut red-brown, or dark, black brown, wing membrane black, lower face naked. Large wing sac (extending almost from edge of propatagium to near elbow). Females slightly larger than males. Head and body length 1.8-2.3 in (4.6-5.8 cm), forearm 1.8-1.9 in (4.6-4.8 cm), weight 0.14-0.39 oz (7-11 g).

Body yellow or gray brown, wing membranes black, facial skin pink. No wing sacs. Head and body length 1.9-2.3 in (4.9-5.9 cm), forearm 1.71.8 in (4.3-4.6 cm), weight 0.18-0.21 oz (5-6 g).

Fur is reddish to brown, ventral fur lighter. No wing sacs. Head and body length 2.2-2.6 in (5.5-6.5 cm), forearm 1.7-2.2 in (4.5-5.6 cm), weight 0.350.38 oz (10-11 g).

Roosts in small groups in large hollow rotting logs, under fallen trees, or in tree hollows. Individuals, probably the males, often roost on top of other bats (probably the females).

Dark or brown colored fur, ventral fur lighter than the dorsal fur. No gular sac. Head and body length 2.8-3.3 in (7.18.5 cm), forearm 2.3-2.6 in (6.0-6.7 cm), weight 0.77-0.88 oz (22-25 g).

White hair with distinct pale brown to reddish tips. Males with elongated blackish hairs on the underside of chin and throat. During the mating season secretions run over the beard. Head and body length 2.7-3.1 in (7.0-8.0 cm), forearm 2.1-2.5 in (5.5-6.5 cm), weight 0.71-0.88 oz (20-25 g).

Large with broad flat head and shoulders, large eyes, and relatively small ears; short greasy fur; both sexes carry a gular sac.

Small bat, forearm 1.7-1.9 in (4.3-4.7 cm), weight 0.18-0.21 oz (5-6 g).

Nicaragua to Peru, Amazonian Brazil, and Guianas.


Roosts in tree holes and on trunks of trees. Found in evergreen and semideciduous forest and secondary growth.

During daytime, roost in cliffs facing the sea or in houses. Daytime roosts in caves counted up to several hundreds of individuals. Colonies are divided in smaller subgroups of 20 individuals, probably harems.

Semi-arid habitats, abundant along the Nile River. Daytime roosts in narrow cracks of rocks or human building. In large colonies, individuals may roost also in more open areas in close association to each other.

Hilly areas near water. Daytime roosts in caves or vertical faults in cliffs with up to 4,000 individuals. Males defend a small territory with a female and young in it. Within roosts, individuals occupy territories.

Forests. Daytime roosts in hollow trees; individuals maintain distance from one another in roost.

Daytime roosts in caves, overhanging cliffs, or lava tubes

South Veracruz in Mexico, to Peru, Brazil, and Guianas.

Endemic to Seychelles and Mahe Islands.



Northwest India, Arabia, Eastern and Central Africa, Sudan, and Botswana.

Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Yunnan, Laos, Thailand, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Borneo.

From Liberia to Congo, Uganda, and western Kenya.

Once widespread on Polynesian and Micro-nesian Islands. Recent records only from Samoa, Fiji, Mariana, Palau, and a small number of other islands.

Moths and beetles.

Insects, possibly also small fruits.

Not listed by IUCN

Not listed by IUCN

Critically Endangered; fewer than 50 individuals

Not listed by IUCN

Not listed by IUCN

Moths and beetles.

Small insects.

Lower Risk/Near Threatened


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