Tub Nosed Bat Murina cyclotis

Description:

HB:42-47; T: 38-42; FA:31-35;E: 12; HF:9-10

There seems to be 2 colour phases:

1.Upper parts warm Rufus brown, with the hairs dark brown at the base and lighter at the tips;underparts greyish white, with a brownish tinge.

Under parts greyer, lacking the Rufus tinge; the underparts lack the brownish tinge.

Long hairs cover the dorsal surface of the interformeral membrane, the backs of the toes and the edge of the membrane. The ears are broad and rounded, with a small lobe at the base of the anterior margin. The tragus is triangular, about half the length of the ear. The incisors are complex, with subsidiary cusps; the lower cheek teeth are equal in crown height, with the upper molars having lower crowns. The braincase is inflated interiorly, rising in a curve from the rostrum.

Round-eared tube-nosed bats range in weight from 9 to 12 g, with total length between 80 and 89 mm. Only one wingspan measurement (229 mm) has been reported for this species. Females tend to be slightly larger than males. Round-eared tube-nosed bats are diagnosed by tubular nostrils and short, round ears. They have a triangular tragus, which are long, narrow, and tapering to a point. The anterior braincase is ballooned and the upper lip possesses a protruding fringe of hairs. Murina cyclotis has small eyes which are closer to the ears than the nostrils. Two different color patterns have been noted. In one color variant, the dorsal fur is a reddish-brown, with the hairs increasing in lightness from the base to the tip; the ventral fur is greyish white, with a brownish tinge. In the other color variant, the dorsal fur is greyer, without the reddish tinge; the ventral fur is greyish white without any brownish tinge. This species has a semi transparent wing membrane, relatively long thumbs, and a tail shorter than the length of its head and body. The feet are hairy, small, and the claws are relatively long and sharp.

Habitat:
Murina cyclotis occurs at elevations as low as 250 m in the foothills to 1,500 m in the mon­tane forests. Round-eared tube-nosed bats are found pri­mar­ily in the trop­i­cal forests of south­east Asia. Coastal areas in­habited by M. cyclotis are bordered by the South China Sea and Philippine Sea, which suggests reliance on humid regions. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Heaney, 2005; Medway, 1983; Phillips, 1980) Three sub­species of M. cyclotis have been identified. M.c. cyclotis is found from northeastern India to Vietnam, including Thailand. M. c. eileenae is in Sri Lanka and has slightly darker and duller fur, and M. c. peninsularis is found on the Malay Penin­sula and is identified by a relatively wider anterior rostrum and more massive teeth.

Ecology:
There is little information reported for mating systems in M. cyclotis. (Phillips, 1980)

There is little information reported for general reproductive behavior in round eared tube nosed bats. Pregnant females in Pahang, Malay Peninsula were reported to carry two fetuses in the months of February and May. (Medway, 1983)

Breeding interval
Nothing known about the breeding interval of M. cyclotis.
Breeding season
Nothing known about the breeding season of M. cyclotis.
Range number of offspring
1 to 2

There is no information reported for lifes­pan and longevity in M. cyclotis.

Behavior
Murina cyclotis
individuals feed in open forest areas, and fly approximately 1.8 m above the ground. Their flight is slow but maneuverable. They roost in large dead and dry leaves of the cardamon plant. Several individuals often roost together on a single leaf or bunch of leaves, which serves to camouflage the bats. A closely related species Murina florium has been found roost­ing in enclosed plant-material nests and hang­ing nests of bird species, presumably to provide protection where other roosting options are not available. Another closely related species, Murina aurata, is thought to hibernate in trees during the winter. This suggests possible hibernation of M. cyclotis, but this is not known for certain. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Kingston, et al., 1999; Schulz, 1998) These bats make use of echolocation to avoid obstacles and capture airborne prey. Calls are frequency-modulated (FM), with low intensity and short duration. The calls are at high frequency, starting at 152 to 180 kHz and sweeping down to an end frequency of 43 to 86 kHz. This large band­width allows these bats to accurately locate targets in the cluttered forests they in­habit. Furthermore, the use of an extremely high echolocation frequency may reduce the need for both visual and other auditory signals. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Kingston, et al., 1999; Schulz, 1998). Tube-nosed bats eat insects in the damp forests they in­habit. A closely re­lated species, M. florium (Flores tube nosed bats) has been ob­served to eat in a manner possibly similar to M. cyclotis. While eat­ing a moth, M. florium individuals were observed perching by both feet and thumb claws. They placed separated pieces of the insect into the uropatagium. After feeding on the edible parts, they released the waste to the ground below. This posture was also used by M. florium to ingest fecal matter (coprophagy). (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Bonaccorso, 1998)

Predation
The reddish-brown color of M. cyclotis makes it difficult for predators to detect as they roost among dead leaves.

There are no known predators of M. cyclotis, how­ever the skulls of a closely re­lated species, M. florium, have been recovered from owl pellets. Most bats are preyed on by owls as they fly and by snakes at roosts. (Bonaccorso, 1998; Phillips, 1980)

 

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