The fulvus roundleaf bat, Hipposideros fulvus, is found in much of southern Asia from Afghanistan east to Thailand, on the islands of Taiwan and Sri Lanka, and throughout most of India. The subspecies H. fulvus pallidus is found in the more northern parts of the range in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and northern India, while the subspecies H. fulvus fulvus is found in the more southeastern areas. (Bhupathy, 1987; Hill, et al., 1986; Srinivasulu and Molur, 2008)
The habitat preferences of fulvus roundleaf bats are relatively broad, including dry plains, thorn scrub, and thick tropical forests. Hipposideros fulvus is found at a wide range of elevations. These bats use porcupine and python burrows, caves, or abandoned buildings for their diurnal roosts. Optimal roosting sites are cool and damp, usually with flowing water nearby. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Bhupathy, 1987; Das, 2003; Nowak, 1994; Saikia, et al., 2006; Srinivasulu and Molur, 2008)
Hipposideros fulvus is a small bat weighing between eight and ten grams. The ears are between 20 and 23 millimeters long, rounded, and larger than those of the bat’s close relatives. The average body length is 43 millimeters and tail length is between 25 and 29 millimeters. Average wingspan for the species is 130 millimeters. There appears to be no sexual dimorphism in this species. Fulvus roundleaf bats have square noseleaves. The dorsal fur can be reddish brown, dull yellow, dull brown, light gray or golden orange and the ventral fur ranges from creamy white to pale gray. Members of H. f. pallidus tend to be on the paler end of the spectrum, and the members of H. f. fulvus are darker in color. (Badwaik, 1989; Bates and Harrison, 1997; Bhupathy, 1987; Das, 2003; Hill, et al., 1986; Madhavan, et al., 1978; Saikia, et al., 2006)
Fulvus roundleaf bats occur in colonies ranging from 10 to 100 individuals. Females make up slightly more than half of the group. Individuals roost without touching, with the exception of females with dependent offspring. It has not been reported if either sex transfers to a different colony before attaining sexual maturity. Hipposideros fulvus breeds every year in November, but it is not known how mate selection occurs. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Madhavan, et al., 1978; Nowak, 1994)
Mating occurs among Hipposideros fulvus every year in mid-November. The gestation period is 150 to 160 days and results in the birth of one young in late April to early May. Twins do occur, but only rarely. The offspring are born naked and with closed eyes at a mass of approximately 2 grams. Young are nursed for approximately three months, reach adult size between seven and eight months, and attain sexual maturity at 18 to 19 months. Fulvus roundleaf bats first breed in the second year after their birth, once they have reached sexual maturity. (Badwaik, 1989; Bates and Harrison, 1997; Madhavan, et al., 1978; Nowak, 1994)
Mother fulvus roundleaf bats carry their young continuously for the first 20 to 22 days after birth. While nursing, the young faces the same direction as the mother, but at other times the young clings with its head near its mother’s tail and latches on with its feet to her fur. After the young leave their mothers, all lactating females in the colony suckle the infants regardless of relatedness. This continues until lactation ceases in late July. Juveniles reach mobile independence after 20 to 22 days, and feeding independence by three months of age. Male fulvus roundleaf bats have not been seen to provide any care to the young. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Nowak, 1994)
Little is known about the expected lifespan of Hipposideros fulvus. The oldest wild individual captured was a twelve-year-old female. Fulvus roundleaf bats do not survive in captivity for very long. (Madhavan, et al., 1978; Nowak, 1994)
Hipposideros fulvus is a nocturnal species that lives in colonies of 10 to 100 individuals. During the day, fulvus roundleaf bats roost with the members of their colony, but individuals never touch their neighbors. These bats hunt at night in groups of four or five. They usually fly close to the ground with a slow, fluttery flight pattern. Individuals have been observed to return to the roosting site to consume their prey. They are less active during the winter. (Advani and Sinha, 1980; Bates and Harrison, 1997; Nowak, 1994)
There is little documentation regarding the communication of Hipposideros fulvus. It has been recorded that individuals rarely make audible sounds. Fulvus roundleaf bats use echolocation to perceive their environment and to hunt for food at night. (Madhavan, et al., 1978)
Fulvus roundleaf bats are insectivorous and eat such prey as beetles, cockroaches, winged termites, ants of the order Hymenoptera, and insects of the order Diptera. They hunt at night and locate their prey through echolocation. (Advani and Sinha, 1980; Bates and Harrison, 1997; Wason, 1978)
Common predators of most Asian bats are owls (Strigiformes), hawks (Falconiformes), snakes (Serpentes), weasels (Mustela), and foxes (Vulpes), though bats comprise only a small part of their diet. Bats are relatively good at avoiding terrestrial predators because they fly, but if caught on the ground they become quite vulnerable. Humans in Asia hunt Hipposideros fulvus and other bats for food and medicinal purposes. (Nowak, 1994; Tuladhar-Douglas, 2008)
Hipposideros fulvus acts as a predator on many types of insects. The guano of H. fulvus likely supplies important nutrients to the ecosystems in which it is found. This hasn’t been recorded, but it seems likely that fulvus roundleaf bats are hosts for parasitic insects such as fleas and ticks. (Advani and Sinha, 1980; Bates and Harrison, 1997; Wason, 1978)
Hipposideros fulvus and other small Asian bats have been used historically by populations in India and Nepal for food and traditional medicine. The medicine is called “bat oil” and is used as eardrops, treatment for baldness, and to combat paralysis. As insectivores, fulvus roundleaf bats positively impact humans by reducing pest insect populations. (Tuladhar-Douglas, 2008)
Hipposideros fulvus and other bat species are often vectors for passing diseases to humans when they come into contact with one another. Viruses can be transmitted to humans through handling and consumption of bat flesh and contact with bat feces. (Tuladhar-Douglas, 2008)
The IUCN lists Hipposideros fulvus as a species of Least Concern because it appears to have a wide distribution, a large and stable population size, and to occur in protected areas. The species was assessed in 2008. H. fulvus does face small-scale threats from habitat loss due to mining and cave sealing. CITES and the US Endangered Species Act do not list H. fulvus. (Srinivasulu and Molur, 2008)
Hipposideros fulvus is known by many common names including fulvus roundleaf bat, fulvus leaf-nosed bat, and bicolored leaf-nosed bat. It is often confused with Hipposideros pomona, but can be distinguished by its longer ears. Populations of H. fulvus have more female individuals than males, but it is unclear at this time why this unequal gender ratio occurs. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Bhupathy, 1987; Hill, et al., 1986; Madhavan, et al., 1978; Saikia, et al., 2006)
Ashley Pheil (author), University of Oregon, Stephen Frost (editor, instructor), University of Oregon, Tanya Dewey (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
uses sound to communicate
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
an animal which directly causes disease in humans. For example, diseases caused by infection of filarial nematodes (elephantiasis and river blindness).
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
used loosely to describe any group of organisms living together or in close proximity to each other - for example nesting shorebirds that live in large colonies. More specifically refers to a group of organisms in which members act as specialized subunits (a continuous, modular society) - as in clonal organisms.
helpers provide assistance in raising young that are not their own
a substance used for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease
The process by which an animal locates itself with respect to other animals and objects by emitting sound waves and sensing the pattern of the reflected sound waves.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
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