Great Roundleaf Bat (Hipposideros armiger)


HB:80-110; T: 48-70; FA; 88-98; E: 30-35; HF: 17-21.

The fur is soft and thick, with 2 colour phases;

1. Hairs on back tipped with warm brown, followed by a broad zone of much lighter brown, and the basal band nearly as dark as the tip.

 2. Darker tips of hairs darker brown, with a broad sub terminal zone dirty whitish, the base as dark as the tip. The hairs of the mantle area are medium brown at the roots, pastel brown for the terminal two  thirds .

The ears and wings are dark brown. The tip of the tail is free from the interformeral membrane. The anterior nose leaf is much wider than the posterior leaf, there are four lateral supplementary leaflets on each side. The accessory transverse fleshy structures which arise behind the posterior leaf are small in females and young males and much larger in old males. The skull has a prominent sagittal crest in old individuals. The first upper premolar is outside the tooth row.


The Great Roundleaf Bat is amongst the largest of the Hipposideros genus, and is the largest example in Southeast Asia. Typically the species roosts in caves, but is also found in abandoned buildings. Roundleaf bats are insectivorous bats characterised by a horseshoe-shaped base to the nose leaf but, unlike the Horseshoe Bats, lack a complicated 'lancet' or projection from the top of the nose leaf.  Similar in appearance to the closely related, but smaller, Intermediate Roundleaf Bat Hipposideros larvatus, the Great Roundleaf Bat possesses four, not three, lateral accessory leaflets on each side of the main nose leaf. Males also possess a fleshy, swollen area above and behind the nose leaf. Its thick and woolly fur is medium brown, and the ears dark brown.

Range Description:

This widespread species has been recorded from India and Nepal, eastwards into central and South Eastern China, and from much of peninsular Southeast Asia. In South Asia, it has been reported from India (Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Uttaranchal and West Bengal) and Nepal (Central, Eastern and Western Nepal) in South Asia (Molur et al. 2002). In China, it is distributed south of the Yangtze river, and has been recorded in Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao, Guangxi, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Anhui, Yunnan, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Guizhou, Fujian and the island of Taiwan. In Southeast Asia, it ranges from Myanmar in the west, through to Thailand and the Malay Peninsula. In South Asia, it has been recorded at elevations of 1,000 to 2,031 m asl (Molur et al. 2002).

Countries: Native:

Cambodia; China; Hong Kong; India; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Nepal; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Vietnam


It appears to be fairly common throughout its range.
Population Trend: Unknown

 Habitat and Ecology:

 In South Asia, this usually low flying species is generally a high altitude species found in montane and bamboo forests (Mistry 1995). It has been recorded roosting either singly or in colonies of several individuals and shares its roosts with other species of bats in subterranean caves, lofts of houses, verandas of old houses, old temples. It breeds once a year and gives birth to two young (Bates and Harrison 1997). In China, it is considered to be a species found in a variety of habitats. They are known to inhabit caves and a variety of man-made structures. Colonies can number in the hundreds of individuals, and they co-occur with species of Rhinolophus and other bats. In Southeast Asia, the species has been primarily recorded near caves but occurs in quite distant areas from the roosts when foraging.
Systems: Terrestrial

 Major Threat(s):

 In South Asia, this species is threatened by deforestation, generally resulting from logging operations and the conversion of land for agricultural purposes, from mining activities, and disturbance to roosting sites in caves (Molur et al. 2002). In Southeast Asia, cave disturbance is occurring throughout the species' range and it is hunted (presumably for food) in Lao PDR, Vietnam and Thailand.

 Conservation Actions:

 In South Asia, there are no direct conservation measures in place. The species has been recorded from protected areas in India like Mahanandi Wildlife Sanctuary in West Bengal. In Southeast Asia, it occurs in protected areas throughout its range. In parts of its range further studies are needed into the distribution, abundance, breeding biology and general ecology of this species. Populations of this species should be monitored to record changes in abundance and distribution (Molur et al. 2002).