Desert long-eared bat

The desert long-eared bat (Otonycteris hemprichii) is a species of vesper bat found in North Africa and the Middle East.

Desert long-eared bat
Otonycteris hemprichii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Vespertilionidae
Genus: Otonycteris
O. hemprichii
Binomial name
Otonycteris hemprichii
Peters, 1859


The systematic position of Otonycteris is unclear, but chromosomal analysis suggests close affinity to Barbastella and Plecotus[2]


Head and body length is about 73–81 mm, tail length is about 47–70 mm, and forearm length is 57–67 mm. They weigh 18–20 g (0.63–0.71 oz).[3] The large ears, about 40 mm in length, are directed nearly horizontally and are connected across the forehead by a low band of skin. Five female specimens revealed two pairs of pectoral mammae, a unique condition in mammals. It is not known if both pairs are functional.

The coloration above is pale sandy to dark brown; the underparts are usually whitish. The skull and teeth of Otonycteris resemble those of Eptesicus. They even eat blood of other animal when they are dead.

Ecology and behavior

This bat occurs normally inhabiting extremely barren and arid regions.[4] Its habitat are xeric, sparsely vegetated and rocky. In the Negev Desert a pair was found roosting in a rocky crevice on a hill. This bat has also been found in buildings.

Otonycteris hemprichii has a "slow, floppy flight."[5]


Based on an analysis of its body mass, low aspect ratio, and low relative wing loading, the species is predicted to be carnivorous.[6] Observations in Kyrgyzstan indicate that the bat forages close to the ground, using echolocation to detect large flying or surface-dwelling invertebrates, and feeding mostly on arachnids and orthopterans that are seized directly from the ground.[7][8] A study in Israel found that up to 70% of the bat's dropping contain scorpion fragments, including the highly venomous Palestine yellow scorpion as well as other less venomous species. Laboratory observations indicate that the bats detect the scorpions by the noises they make as they walk. Once caught the bats bite the heads of the scorpion and frequently get stuck in the face by the scorpion's sting. When this occurs, no signs of toxicity have been recorded, suggesting that the bats are immune to the scorpion venom.[9][10] Despite this, they will contort in pain after sustaining repeated successful strikes from the scorpions.

Courtship and breeding

Breeding colonies of 3-15 females have been found, and seven pregnant females, most with two embryos, have been collected in central Asia.[8][11] Three pregnant females, each with two embryos, were found in a deserted hut in Jordan.[12]

Distribution and range

When the desert long-eared bat included the species now recognized as the Turkestani long-eared bat, its range included Morocco, northern Niger, Egypt, the Arabian peninsula, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and northwest India.[13][14][15][8][11][16] However, when the recognition of the Turkestani long-eared bat split the genus Otonycteris into two species, the range of the desert long-eared bat was reevaluated. Its range is now recognized to include Afghanistan; Algeria; Egypt; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Israel; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Libya; Morocco; Niger; Oman; Pakistan; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Sudan; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; United Arab Emirates; and Uzbekistan.[1]


  1. ^ a b Monadjem, A.; Aulagnier, S.; Hutson, A.M.; Benda, P. (2017). "Otonycteris hemprichii". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T85294528A22118826. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T85294528A22118826.en.
  2. ^ Qumsiyeh, M. B., & Bickham, J. W. (1993). Chromosomes and relationships of long-eared bats of the genera Plecotus and Otonycteris. Journal of Mammalogy, 74(2), 376-382.
  3. ^ Gaisler, J., Madkour, G., & Pelikán, J. (1972). On the bats (Chiroptera) of Egypt. Academia.
  4. ^ Harrison, D. L. (1964). The Mammals of Arabia: Insectivora. Chiroptera. Primates (Vol. 1). E. Benn.
  5. ^ Nowak, R. M. (1994). Walker's bats of the world. JHU Press
  6. ^ Norberg, U. M., & Fenton, M. B. (1988). Carnivorous bats?. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 33(4), 383-394.
  7. ^ Arlettaz, R., Dändliker, G., Kasybekov, E., Pillet, J. M., Rybin, S., & Zima, J. (1995). Feeding habits of the long-eared desert bat, Otonycteris hemprichi (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Journal of Mammalogy, 76(3), 873-876.
  8. ^ a b c Horacek, I. (1991). Enigma of Otonycteris: ecology, relationship, classification. Myotis, 29, 17-30.
  9. ^ Holderied, M.; Korine, C.; Moritz, T. (2010). "Hemprich's long-eared bat (Otonycteris hemprichii) as a predator of scorpions: Whispering echolocation, passive gleaning and prey selection". Journal of Comparative Physiology A. 197 (5): 425–433. doi:10.1007/s00359-010-0608-3. PMID 21086132.
  10. ^ Michael Marshall (2010-12-01). "The hardest bat in the world". New Scientist. Archived from the original on 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2011-06-22.
  11. ^ a b Roberts, T. J., & Bernhard (principe d'Olanda.). (1977). The mammals of Pakistan. London: E. Benn.
  12. ^ Atallah, S. I. 1977. Mammals of the eastern Mediterranean region: their ecology, systematics and zoogeographical relationships. Säugetierkundliche Mitteilungen 25:241-320.
  13. ^ Aulagnier, S., & Mein, P. (1985). Note sur la présence d'Otonycterus hemprichi Peters, 1859 au Maroc. Mammalia, 49(4), 582-584.
  14. ^ Corbet, G. B. (1978). The mammals of the Palaearctic region: a taxonomic review. British Museum (Natural History), 341.
  15. ^ Fairon, J. (1980). Deux nouvelles especes de cheiropteres pour la faune du Massif de l'Air (Niger): Otonycteris Hemprichi Peters, 1859 et Pipistrellus Nanus (Peters, 1852). J. Goemaere.
  16. ^ Shaimardanov, R. (1982). Otonycteris-hemprichi and Barbastella-leucomelas (Chiroptera) in Kazakhstan. Zoologichesky Zhurnal, 61(11), 1765-1765.


  • Walker's Mammals of the World Sixth Edition pg. 453-454
Anchieta's pipistrelle

Anchieta's pipistrelle (Pipistrellus anchietae) is a species of vesper bat.

It is found in Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Madagascar.

The species inhabits dry savanna and moist savanna habitats.


Arielulus is a genus of vesper bats with the following species, sometimes in Pipistrellus:

Genus Arielulus

Collared pipistrelle (A. aureocollaris)

Black-gilded pipistrelle (A. circumdatus)

Coppery pipistrelle (A. cuprosus)

Social pipistrelle (A. societatis)

Necklace pipistrelle (A. torquatus)


Barbastella is a small genus of vespertilionid bats. There are five described species in this genus.


Eptesicus is a genus of bats, commonly called house bats or serotine bats, in the family Vespertilionidae.The 25 species within this genus are:

Little black serotine (Eptesicus andinus)

Bobrinski's serotine (Eptesicus bobrinskoi)

Botta's serotine (Eptesicus bottae)

Brazilian brown bat (Eptesicus brasiliensis)

Chiriquinan serotine (Eptesicus chiriquinus)

Diminutive serotine (Eptesicus diminutus)

Surat serotine (Eptesicus dimissus)

Horn-skinned bat (Eptesicus floweri)

Argentine brown bat (Eptesicus furinalis)

Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus)

Gobi big brown bat (Eptesicus gobiensis)

Guadeloupe big brown bat (Eptesicus guadeloupensis)

Long-tailed house bat (Eptesicus hottentotus)

Harmless serotine (Eptesicus innoxius)

Meridional serotine (Eptesicus isabellinus)

Japanese short-tailed bat (Eptesicus japonensis)

Kobayashi's bat (Eptesicus kobayashii)

Eptesicus lobatus

Jamaican serotine (Eptesicus lynni)

Sind bat (Eptesicus nasutus)

Northern bat (Eptesicus nilssonii)

Thick-eared bat (Eptesicus pachyotis)

Lagos serotine (Eptesicus platyops)

Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus)

Eptesicus taddeii

Sombre bat (Eptesicus tatei)


Glauconycteris is a genus of vespertilionid bats in Africa.

Grey long-eared bat

The grey long-eared bat (Plecotus austriacus) is a fairly large European bat. It has distinctive ears, long and with a distinctive fold. It hunts above woodland, often by day, and mostly for moths. It is extremely similar to the more common brown long-eared bat, and was only distinguished in the 1960s, but has a paler belly.


Laephotis is a genus of bats in the family Vespertilionidae. Species within this genus are:

Angolan long-eared bat (Laephotis angolensis)

Botswanan long-eared bat (Laephotis botswanae)

Namib long-eared bat (Laephotis namibensis)

De Winton's long-eared bat (Laephotis wintoni)

Moloney's mimic bat

Moloney's mimic bat (Mimetillus moloneyi) is a species of vesper bat. It can be found in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia. It is found in subtropical or tropical dry or moist forests, subtropical or tropical mangrove forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, dry and moist savanna.


Neoromicia is a genus of vesper bat in the family Vespertilionidae.

It contains the following species:

Dark-brown serotine (Neoromicia brunneus)

Cape serotine (Neoromicia capensis)

Yellow serotine (Neoromicia flavescens)

Neoromicia grandidieri

Tiny serotine (Neoromicia guineensis)

Heller's pipistrelle (Neoromicia helios)

Isabelline white-winged serotine (Neoromicia isabella)

Isalo serotine (Neoromicia malagasyensis)

Malagasy serotine (Neoromicia matroka)

Melck's house bat (Neoromicia melckorum)

Banana pipistrelle (Neoromicia nana)

Rendall's serotine (Neoromicia rendalli)

Rosevear's serotine (Neoromicia roseveari)

Neoromicia robertsi

Somali serotine (Neoromicia somalicus)

Neoromicia stanleyi

White-winged serotine (Neoromicia tenuipinnis)

Aloe serotine (Neoromicia zuluensis)


Nyctalus is a genus of vespertilionid bats commonly known as the noctule bats. They are distributed in the temperate and subtropical areas of Europe, Asia and North Africa.

There are eight species within this genus:

Birdlike noctule, Nyctalus aviator

Azores noctule, Nyctalus azoreum

Japanese noctule, Nyctalus furvus

Greater noctule bat, Nyctalus lasiopterus

Lesser noctule, Nyctalus leisleri

Mountain noctule, Nyctalus montanus

Common noctule, Nyctalus noctula

Chinese noctule, Nyctalus plancyi


Otonycteris is a genus of vesper bats. Members of this genus are found in Northern Africa and Central Asia. Until recently, it was thought to be monotypic, but in 2010, the Turkestani long-eared bat was distinguished from the desert long-eared bat; previously, all populations were recognized as the desert long-eared bat.

Currently, it consists of two species:

Desert long-eared bat (Otonycteris hemprichii)


Otonycteris hemprichii hemprichii: found in North Africa, the Levant, and the Middle East

Otonycteris hemprichii cinerea: found in the mountains of Iran and Oman

Otonycteris hemprichii jin: found in low-elevation deserts of the eastern Arabian Peninsula and southeast Iran

Turkestani long-eared bat (Otonycteris leucophaea)


The genus Plecotus consists of the long-eared bats. Many species in the genus have only been described and recognized in recent years.


Scotoecus is a genus of bats in the family Vespertilionidae.

Scotophilus tandrefana

The western yellow bat (Scotophilus tandrefana) is a species of vesper bat endemic to Madagascar.

Somali serotine

The Somali serotine (Neoromicia somalica) is a species of vesper bat.

It is found in Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Its natural habitats are dry savanna and moist savanna.

Turkestani long-eared bat

The Turkestani long-eared bat, Otonycteris leucophaea, is a species of bat found in Asia. Though it was initially described in 1873 as a species, for many years it was considered synonymous with the desert long-eared bat, Otonycteris hemprichii. Recently, it was recognized as a distinct species once again.


The Vespertilioninae are a subfamily of vesper bats from the family Vespertilionidae.

Wildlife of Qatar

The wildlife of Qatar includes the peninsula's flora and fauna and their natural habitats. The country's terrestrial wildlife includes numerous small nocturnal mammals, a number of reptiles which mainly consist of lizard species, and arthropods. Aquatic animals primarily include fish, shrimp and pearl oysters. The desert and the shoreline form an important resting site for a number of migratory bird species during autumn and spring. Urban and agricultural developments have led to an increase in bird species.

Species of subfamily Vespertilioninae


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