Blyth's Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus lepidus)



HB: 51-54; T: 15-20; FA: 37-42; E: 15-16; HF: 8.3-8.7.

The wings are short, broad and nearly transparent. The nose leaves and skulls are similar to acuminatus but with the connecting process pointed. The lower second premolar is external, and the first and third premolars may be in contact. This is a small bat species with two colour phases - one reddish-brown, the other grey. In all forms the fur is quite glossy, and the underparts are pale.  The nose leaf is elaborate and comprises a typically shaped anterior horseshoe structure, a pointed bifurcated Stella, and a high, pointed lancet Rhinolophus refulgens (Glossy Horseshoe Bat), was considered a separate species to Rhinolophus lepidus (Blyth's Horseshoe Bat), the latter ranging from the Indian Subcontinent and Burma to southern China and Northern Thailand. R. refulgens is now relegated to the subspecies R. lepidus refulgens, which has a complimentary geographical range from Southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore to Sumatra

Range Description:

This species is very widespread in South Asia and Southeast Asia. In South Asia the species is known from Afghanistan (Faryab, Kabul, Nangarhar, Parwan and Zabol provinces), Bangladesh (Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Sylhet and Rajsahi divisions), India (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat (Senacha, under review), Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal), Nepal (Central and Eastern Nepal) and Pakistan (Punjab) (Molur et al. 2002). In Southeast Asia, it has been recorded from Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, and (Sumatra). In South Asia, it has been recorded up to an elevation of 2,330 m asl (Molur et al. 2002).
Countries: Native:
Afghanistan; Bangladesh; Cambodia; China (Yunnan); India; Indonesia (Sumatera); Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia); Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Thailand; Vietnam


It is locally common throughout much of its range.

Habitat and Ecology:

 This species can be found in both dry and moist forest and fringe areas (C. Srinivaulu pers. comm. September 2007). In Malaysia and Thailand it appears to be associated with intact lowland tropical moist forest. Roosts include caves, unused tunnels, old and ruined buildings, old temples (Molur et al. 2002). Its flight is slow and low and feeds on lepidopterans, coleopterans, dipterans, hymenopterans (Bates and Harrison 1997). Blyth's Horseshoe Bat, or Glossy Horseshoe Bat, roosts in caves and houses near forest. In semi-urban areas it is known to have adapted to roost in man-made tunnels and drain culverts.
Systems: Terrestrial

 Major Threat(s):

In general there are no major threats to this species as a whole. In parts of its Indian range, this species is threatened due to roost disturbance from conversion of old forts and hovels to hotels as a part of tourist related development activities (K.R. Senacha pers. comm. January 2002, Molur et al. 2002).

 Conservation Actions:

 There are no direct conservation measures in place in South Asia. It is reported from Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, Karnala Bird Sanctuary in Maharashtra, Satpura National Park in Madhya Pradesh (Molur et al. 2002), and Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve in Andhra Pradesh (C. Srinivasulu pers. comm. 10 October 2007). Further studies are needed into the distribution, abundance, breeding biology and general ecology of this species (Molur et al. 2002). In Southeast Asia it occurs in a number of protected areas.