Lesser bamboo bats, Tylonycteris pachypus, are found in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, South China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam to peninsular Malaysia, the Philippines, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Bali (Indonesia) and the Andaman Islands (India). (Zhang, et al., 2006)
Lesser bamboo bats occupy lowland agricultural areas that contain bamboo stands. In a study done by Zhang et al. (2006), lesser bamboo bats were observed in three habitat types: along trees and houses, pathways along bamboo forest, and above bamboo forest. Of 145 individuals caught over a 28 day period, 45 % were collected on the pathway, 52 % were collected along the trees and houses and 3 % were collected above the bamboo forest. (Zhang, et al., 2006)
Lesser bamboo bats are small bats with well developed tails that are completely enclosed in a tail membrane. (Medway and Marhsall, 1970)
Mating systems in lesser bamboo bats are not known, although polygyny is suspected based on some observed roosting patterns. (Zhang, et al., 2005)
Mating seems to be seasonal, with males being fertile from mid-October to mid-January and females are in estrous from mid-October to mid-November. One offspring is usually born, sometimes two. Gestation is from 12 to 13 weeks long and the young are nursed for 5 to 6 weeks after that. The young are independent immediately after weaning and can breed in the first year after their birth. (Zhang, et al., 2006)
Mothers care for their young on their own. Because they roost in groups, they need efficient and distinctive communication calls to ensure successful reunions. In T. pachypus, recognition between the mother and pup is mutual. Recognition involves visual, acoustic and olfactory cues. Vocal signals that mediate recognition can be the mother’s echolocation calls, isolation calls from the infant, or other communication calls from the mother or infant. Infant bats often emit distinctive isolation calls (i-calls) which assist the location of offspring by the mother. (Zhang, et al., 2005)
In lesser bamboo bats the sexes display 2 different roosting behaviors. Males are solitary and females are gregarious. In some roosting sites, a single male, twelve adult females and 24 infants were found. Lesser bamboo bats are active at night and roost during the day.
Home range size in lesser bamboo bats is not known.
Vocalization from infants occurred for precursor for echolocation calls and as isolation calls (i-calls) to attract the mother. As the infants grew older the 2 calls increased. Female directive calls are different than their infants calls by having lower frequency and longer duration. (Zhang, et al., 2005)
Lesser bamboo bats also use their vision, sense of smell, and sense of touch to perceive their environment and to communicate effectively among individuals.
Lesser bamboo bats are strictly insectivorous. The diet consists primarily of 7 different orders of insects. Hymenoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera, and Hemiptera are the 4 main orders, making up 62.3 %, 29.6 %, 6.0%, and 1.5%, respectively, of their diets. Other insects eaten include Homoptera, Blattodea, and Embioptera. Swarming termites, Isoptera, are also a small portion of their diet. Seasonal variation from spring to autumn occurs in their diet, no order of insects made up more than 50% of the total diet from March to April. From May to October, Hymenoptera made up more than 50% of the diet by volume. (Zhang, et al., 2005)
Predation on these bats is rare, but they have been known to be preyed on by owls when foraging at night. (Lewis, 1995)
Lesser bamboo bats keep insect pest populations down by eating thousands of them each night. Some of these insects are considered pests because they will destroy agricultural fields. Bamboo Gigantochloa scortechinii is used for roosting. Basilia hispida, a bat fly, is an ectoparasite of T. pachypus. (Marshall, 1971)
There are no known adverse effects of T. pachypus on humans.
Lesser bamboo rats are considered lower risk/least concern by the IUCN. Populations seem stable currently.
Tanya Dewey (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Kyle Wollin (author), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Chris Yahnke (editor, instructor), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
uses sound to communicate
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
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
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
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.
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
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.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
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.
having more than one female as a mate at one time
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
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
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.
uses sound above the range of human hearing for either navigation or communication or both
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.
Lewis, S. 1995. Roost Fidelity of bats. Journal of Mammology, Vol. 76 No. 2: 481-496.
Marshall, A. 1971. The ecology of Basilia hispida.. The Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 40 No. 1: 141-154.
Medway, L., A. Marhsall. 1970. Roost site selection among flat-headed bats. Journal of Zoology, 161: 237-245.
Zhang, L., G. Jones, S. Rossiter, G. Ades, B. Liang, S. Zhang. 2005. Diet of flat headed bats, << Typlonycteris pachypus>> and << T. Robustela>>, in Guangxi, South China. Journal of Mammalogy, Vol. 86. No. 1: 61-67.
Zhang, L., B. Liang, S. Wei, S. Zhang. 2006. Morphology, echolocation and foraging behaviour in two sympatric sibling bats species, << Tylonycteris pachypus>> and T. robustula in South China. Journal of Zoology ( London).