Indian bat ID

Hi all

Anyone any good on Indian bats? There seems to be a paucity of literature on the subject, but I was hoping for some input on the below two species photographed by Will Soar on our recent trip.

No. 1:

Body length estimated to be 8-9cm; these were photgraphed emerging from a roost in one of the bungalows in Blackbuck Lodge, Velavadar, but we also had good binocular views of what I’m sure is the same species at Sasan Gir, where they were alighting briefly on a tree trunk to glean ants. At both sites they were out relatively early in the evening, flying circuits with fast wingbeats but slow progress and occasional glides. This matches the flight action described for Dormer’s Bat (aka Dormer’s Pipistrelle) Scotozous dormeri in Menon’s mammals field guide; I also believe the size and coloration are good for that species. However, I can’t find any images to back up my identification, any ideas on how to be sure?

No. 2:

I have even less of a a clue about this handsome individual from Gir NP. I put the bosy length at ~10cm, maybe a little more; some of the other saw it fly into the tree and thought it looked quite substantial and long-winged.  A house bat sp. has been suggested, but I’m not sure (quite happy to be wrong though!). I think the dorsal fur is too long and orangey; I got a brief look at it’s face before it hunkered down (no pics sadly) and the muzzle was narrower than I’d expect for a Scotophilus. The contrast between the fingers and the membranes seems interesting, but it may not be possible to put a name to it.

Any thoughts gratefully received!








  • Jon Hall

    Hi Mike, I need to look at books when I have a chance but a quick reaction from me: I think the first species is an Emaballuronid – could it be Taphozous Longimanus maybe? The second looks like it might be a Painted Bat (Krevioula picta) – the colouration looks pretty distinctive. But these are off the top of my head and I am by no means an expert on Indian bats.. but might be worth you googling more info on these species/genera and checking the ranges on .. let me know what you think and when I get some time I can look at a book or two.

    • vdinets

      Emballonurids have free tail protruding from the tail membrane. I think it’s a good fit for S. dormeri, but I seem to remember that S. dormeri has shorter ears. Does anyone have a book mentioning its ear length? I’ve only seen it once (in Orissa) and I’m not sure about my ID. The only other option I can think of is Scotoecus pallidus, but it isn’t known from Gujarat, either, and the ones I saw in Pakistan were more yellow.

      K. picta is not known from western India, and doesn’t like arid habitats. I don’t think there are any Kerivoula known from Gujarat.

      • Jon Hall

        Yes now I look at the last picture of the first species I don’t see a tail … are you certain (Mike) that that is the same animal (species). The colouration looks rather different from that angle?

      • mikehoit

        thanks both for the comments. I cans see what you’re saying regarding the Velavadar animals – it is quite a strong head. However they were smaller (less long-winged in particular) than tomb bats, plus of course the tail is wrong. The local species is Egyptian Tomb Bat (Taphozous perforatus), which we saw in GRK, and has a broader head and shoulders; I’ll stick a photo in my trip report for reference.
        For the second animal, it doesn’t seem a good match for any myotis in the field guide, but of course the literature may be incomplete. I’ll keep digging around on the web for both (I also realised last night I should have checked Mammals of South East Asia, will have to wait till I get home from work.

        cheers again

    • Jon Hall

      Also myotis foursomes looks like the second bat, though I think also well out of range

      • Jon Hall

        OK Mike, keep us posted. There are a few of those orangey bats in SE Asian book. The tragus (inner ear lobe) of the first species is quite distinctive and should help get it down to the right genus too… the illustrations in Charles Francis’s book are really good

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