Lesser Sheath-tailed Bat (Emballonura monticola)


HB: 40-45; T:10-11; FA:43-45; HF:6-7; E: 10-11; W: 30-40g.

The pelage is dark brown or dark copper, with the upper surface of the interformeral membrane slightly thinly furred; hair also extends up the basal third of the ears. The eyes are black, triangular in shape, and erectile, becoming limp when the bat is at rest; the tragus is slightly narrower at the midpoint than at either end. The tail is shorter than the interfemoral membrane, with the last 2 caudal vertebrae free of the membrane. The dentition differs from Taphozous in having 2 pairs of upper incisors instead of the 1 pair. The first premolar is quite small, with the upper one tightly wedges between the canine and second upper premolar. The skull is thin and papery, with a deep central longitudinal groove and long slender postorbital process. The braincase is strongly inflated anteriorly.

Range Description:

This species occurs in Myanmar and Thailand to Western Malaysia, Borneo (all of the island) and Indonesia (Sumatra, Riau Archipelago, Bangka, Belitung, Enggano, Babi Islands, Batu Islands, Nias Island, Mentawai Islands, Java, Sulawesi) (Simmons 2005). The distribution in Sulawesi is uncertain. There is a new record from southern Thailand, near Phanom, suggesting that the Myanmar population is linked to that of Southern Thailand and Malaysia (S. Bumrungsri and P. Bates pers. comm.). This species may also have been recorded from Buton (T. Kingston pers. comm.). It is found at an altitude of about 50 m in southern Myanmar and 330 m asl in Sumatra (A. Suyanto pers. comm.).
Countries: Native:
Indonesia; Malaysia; Myanmar; Thailand
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.


There is very little population information for this species. It is relatively common on the islands of southern Myanmar (P. Banks pers. comm.).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

: This species is found in limestone caves and small crevices throughout secondary forest in southern Myanmar where colony size reaches 50 individuals. In Southern Thailand a maximum of 100 individuals are found in manmade caves while smaller colonies are found under hanging rock in tropical lowland forest (S. Bumrungsri pers. comm.). In Peninsular Malaysia E. monticola occurs in lowland rainforest, roosts under fallen trees, buttresses and tables (C. Francis pers. comm.).
Systems: Terrestrial

Major Threat(s):

There are no major threats to this species throughout its range. Extraction of limestone may lead to the destruction of caves where this species is found. Deforestation for agriculture, plantations, logging and as a result of fire is a major threat in some parts of its range.

 Conservation Actions:

This species occurs in protected areas throughout its range.