Lesser Large-footed Bat (Myotis hasseltii)
HB: 53-58; T:37-44; FA:38-44, E:16-17; HF:10-12; W:7.5-10g
The pelage is short and velvety, with upperparts grey to pale brown and the underparts somewhat lighter; the individual hairs are dark at the base, with pale silver tips. The ears and wings are pale greyish brown. The interfemoral membrane is large, acutely angular behind; the wings attach at the ankle. The face and muzzle are covered with sparse hairs, with the exposed skin pink in colour. The ears are rather short, extending half the distance eve and the end of the muzzle when laid forward; the tragus is bluntly pointed, with a triangular lobe at its base. The second premolar is displaced inwards so that the first and third premolars are nearly in contact (actually touching in some specimens) ( Hill1972)
This species has a patchily recorded distribution in South
Asia and Southeast Asia. In South Asia, this species is presently known from
India (West Bengal) and Sri Lanka (Eastern, Northern, North Central and Southern
provinces) and has been recorded up to an elevation of 1,000 m asl (Molur et al.
2002). In Southeast Asia, the species is known from Myanmar,
Cambodia, Vietnam (with a record from Co-Loa [Bates et al. 1999]), Peninsular
Malaysia, Indonesia (the Mentawai Islands [Pagai Islands], Riau Archipelago,
Sumatra [Bukit Barisan Selatan protected area (Opo pers. comm.)] Java and
Sumbawa [Maryanto, pers comm. 2006]) and the island of Borneo (records from
Kalimantan [Indonesia] and Sarawak [Malaysia]).
Cambodia; India; Indonesia (Jawa, Kalimantan, Sumatera); Malaysia; Myanmar; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Vietnam
This is a reasonably common, but locally distributed
species. In South Asia, although it is a fairly common bat a declining trend in
the population has been observed (Molur et al. 2002).
Population Trend: Unknown
Habitat and Ecology:
In South Asia, this species prefers dry forests but is also
seen in mangrove forests. It roosts either solitary or in groups of few
individuals among bamboo, cracks of tree trunks, and in old and ruined
buildings. It is a low flyer, hunting over water surfaces even the sea. It feeds
on small insects like the mosquitoes, gnats, flies and moths (Bates and Harrison
1997). In Southeast Asia, this species is known to feed over open seas, and
probably roosts in mangrove forests; it has also been found more inland, where
its roosting and feeding habits are poorly known. In view of the species
possible association with coastal habitats, it may be the species might be more
widespread on Borneo around the islands coasts. Payne et al. (1985) suggested
that bats feeding over open water near Sandakan were probably this species.
Borissenko and Kruskop (2003) recorded the species from the Bassac River in
Cambodia and from Pnom-Penh, always near large water surfaces. The species has
also been recorded from large cities, such as Rangoon and Bangkok, and there is
also a locality from near Hanoi (Bates et al. 1999). In Rangoon and Bangkok,
it is seen hawking for insects and fish over small ponds and lakes within the
city. The species was found to roost in caves at Bukit Barisan Selatan (Opo
pers. comm. 2006), and has been found roosting in limestone caves in Langkawi
Island (Lim Boo Liat pers. comm. 2006).
There appear to be no major threats to this species as a
whole. In South Asia, the habitat of this species is being deforested for
timber, firewood and conversion for agricultural use and human settlements
(Molur et al. 2002).
This species has been recorded from protected areas in Southeast Asia (eg. Co-Loa, Vietnam). In South Asia, there are no conservation measures in place and it has not been recorded from any protected areas. Ecological studies and population monitoring recommended (Molur et al. 2002).