Big-eared Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus macrotis)


HB: 38; T:14;

FA: 36-41; E: 19-22; HF: 8.2-9.2.

Very similar to R. pearsoni but smaller. The fur is short, not woolly; the upperparts are light brown, the underparts are buffy. The anterior nose leaf is large, covering the upper lip. The sella is broad, rounded in front, with rather long and dense on its front face. The lancet is triangular. The dorsal connecting process is rounded off. The lower lip as 3 grooves The upper first premolar is very small, but as a distinctive cusp.

Range Description:

This species ranges from northern South Asia, into South Eastern China and Southeast Asia. In South Asia, this species is presently known from Bangladesh (Chittagong division), India (Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Uttaranchal and West Bengal), Nepal (Central and Western Nepal) and Pakistan (Punjab) (Molur et al. 2002). In China it has been recorded from Sichuan, Shaanxi, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Guizhou and Guangxi. In Southeast Asia, it has generally been recorded from northern Myanmar and Thailand, northern Lao PDR and Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia (and the island of Tioman), Sumatra (Indonesia), and the Philippines where it has been recorded from the islands of Guimaras, Luzon [Abra and Pampanga provinces], Mindanao [Bukidnon Province], Negros, Palawan (Esselstyn et al. 2004) and Samar (Gonzales unpublished data). It has been recorded from 200 up to 1,692 m asl (South Asia) (Molur et al. 2002).
Countries: Native:
Bangladesh; China; India; Indonesia (Sumatera); Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia); Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Philippines; Thailand; Vietnam


 Though this species is widely distributed in its range in South Asia it is known from a few localities and has a small colony size. The population size of this species is low and a declining trend in the population is inferred (Molur et al. 2002). In Peninsular Malaysia and Southern Thailand it is rare in tall lowland forest and also hill forest in Peninsular Malaysia (Bumrungsri and Francis pers. comm. 2006) and widespread but seemingly uncommon in the Philippines (Heaney et al. 1998).
Population Trend: Stable

 Habitat and Ecology:

In South Asia, this species roosts in abandoned mines and caves in forests (Molur et al. 2002). Its flight is fast and high and feeds on coleopterans and dipterans (Bates and Harrison 1997). Other than being a cave roosting species, there are few details available on the natural history of this species in China. In Myanmar and Vietnam it is associated with limestone caves at an altitude of around 1,000 m asl, and has been found at a large cave in disturbed secondary growth forest. It has been recorded from in caves in secondary forest in Lao PDR and lowland tropical moist forest in Peninsular Malaysia (C. Francis pers. comm.). In the Philippines, it has been recorded in lowland tropical moist forest, but is otherwise poorly known (Heaney et al., 1998). There are some records from forest caves. On Palawan Island, it has been reported from caves in disturbed lowland forest at 50 to 250 m asl (Esselstyn et al. 2004).
Systems: Terrestrial

Major Threat(s):

 In South Asia, the habitat of this species is being deforested for timber, firewood and conversion for agricultural use. In Nepal it is threatened due to increase in tourism leading to disturbance to roosting sites; fumigation and chemical pesticides to rid the caves of roosts (T.K. Shreshta pers. comm. January 2002; Molur et al. 2002). In Southeast Asia, it is probably threatened in parts of its range (such as Malaysia) by ongoing habitat loss.

Conservation Actions:

In South Asia, there are no direct conservation measures in place for this species. The species has not been recorded from any protected areas. Additional studies are needed into the distribution, abundance, breeding biology, general ecology and threats to this little-known species. Populations should be monitored to record changes in abundance and distribution. Habitat maintenance, conservation and restoration are needed. Public awareness activities need to be taken up to mitigate any further threats to this taxon (Molur et al. 2002). In view of its wide range in Southeast Asia, it seems probable that the species has been recorded from some protected areas, although this needs to be confirmed.