Western broad-nosed bat

The western or inland broad-nosed batScotorepens balstoni – is a species of vespertilionid bats. They are endemic to Australia and widespread throughout the inland, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. This insectivorous microbat, measuring 12 cm in length, roosts in tree hollows during the day and forages over woodland and water at night.

Western broad-nosed bat
Scotorepens balstoni
being held with outstretched wing. Found roosting inside a house at Roxby Downs, South Australia.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Vespertilionidae
Genus: Scotorepens
S. balstoni
Binomial name
Scotorepens balstoni
(Thomas, 1906)
Scotorepens balstoni Occurrence records map
Map showing recorded occurrences of inland broad-nosed bats. Source: Atlas of Living Australia


The inland broad-nosed bat is a moderate-sized species of microbat. It features a characteristic broad square-shaped muzzle when viewed from above that is formed by swollen, glandular pads (Reardon & Flavel 1991, p. 72). The fur colour of the species can vary from dark brown to a pale sand colour, with light grey-brown on the back and pale brown on the belly being most common (Churchill 2008, p. 155). This species along with other broad-nosed bats have short slender ears, small eyes, a tail enclosed in the uropatagium membrane and only one upper incisor on each side (Parnaby 1999). Unique to male inland broad-nosed bats are the numerous spines on the glans penis, with up to 22 spines on the head in two long rows (Churchill 2008, p. 155). Body measurements, especially forearm length, along with distribution are useful in identifying the species (Churchill 2008 p. 110). The species can also be identified by its short tragus of 4 mm (Parnaby 2008, p. 553). Male inland broad-nosed bats tend to be slightly smaller than females (Reardon & Flavel 1991, p. 72).

Table 1. Measurements important for identification purposes (Source: Churchill 2008, p. 155; Richards & Hall 2012, p. 169).

Weight Forearm length Ear length Tail length Wingspan
Average 9.3 g 36 mm 13 mm 36 mm 278 mm
Range 6-14 g 32–41 mm 11–14 mm 29–42 mm 252–295 mm

The species has characteristic echolocation frequencies of 34.1 - 38.7 kHz in WA and 28 –34 kHz in NSW.


Scotorepens balstoni (pronounced skoh′-toh-rep′-enz bawl′-stun-ee) translates to mean ‘Balton’s darkness creeper’ (Parnaby 2008, p. 552).

There are several synonyms existing for this species which include:

  • Nycticeius balstoni (Thomas, 1906)
  • Scoteinus balstoni (Thomas, 1906)
  • Nycticeius influatus (Thomas, 1924)
  • Scoteinus influatus (Thomas, 1924)
  • Scoteinus balstoni caprenus

Research evidence indicates that Scotorepens balstoni may be a ‘composite of several distinct species’ creating the need for a ‘comprehensive taxonomic assessment’ of the species (Parnaby 2008, p. 552). Due to similarities in appearance Scotorepens balstoni is most likely to be confused with the other species of small broad-nosed bats (Scotorepens): S. greyii, S. orion, S. sanborni and S. sp. (Parnaby 1999, p. 4; Richards & Hall 2012, p. 169).

Distribution and habitat

Inland broad-nosed bats are distributed widely throughout inland Australia, including arid and semi-arid regions. They are generally not distributed east of the Great Dividing Range (Churchill 2008, p. 155).

In Western Australia distribution covers the northern wheatbelt, the south-western interzone, the Murchison region, the Gibson desert and the Great Victoria desert (Bullen & Dunlop 2012, p. 277). In the Western Australian rangelands the species shows preference for Mulga woodland, while also choosing to inhabit Salmon Gum/Gimlet and York Gum woodlands (Bullen & Dunlop 2012, p. 282). In the semi-arid Mallee region of north-western Victoria inland broad-nosed bats show a preference for open woodland and dryland woodland habitats (Lumsden & Bennett 1995). Other known occurrences in semi-arid regions in New South Wales are at Willundra Lakes and Kinchega National Park, along with Dangalli in South Australia (Lumsden & Bennett 1995, p. 233). In South Australia distribution in arid areas indicates a habitat preference for river red gums following surface drainage systems (Reardon & Flavel 1991, p. 72).


Roost habits

Inland broad-nosed bats prefer to roost in tree hollows, in groups of up to 45 individuals (Churchill 2008, p. 155). Roosting also occurs in the roofs of buildings, under metal caps of power poles and in water pipes (Churchill 2008, p. 155). They often roost horizontally (Parnaby 2008, p. 552). The species has been known to share roosts with colonies of south-eastern freetail bats (Mormopterus sp.) (Australian Museum 2009; Churchill 2008, p. 155).

Diet and foraging

Inland broad-nosed bats are described as air-superiority insectivores (Bullen & McKenzie 2008, p. 283). In northern distribution areas they are known to eat cockroaches, termites, crickets, cicadas, bugs, beetles, flies, moths and ants (Churchill 2008, p. 156). In Victoria their diet consists mostly of beetles, ants, bugs, moths, flies and grasshoppers (Churchill 2008, p. 156). They start foraging earlier than most other species, beginning usually just on dusk (Churchill 2008, p. 156). Foraging is achieved using echolocation whilst in continuous flight, keeping within 15 metres of the ground, with rapid diversions to pursue prey (Churchill 2008, p. 156). Foraging mainly occurs between trees, not going above the tree canopy, as well as at the edges of forests venturing into open areas (Churchill 2008, p. 156). Speeds during flight have been measured between 12–21 km/h (Churchill 2008, p. 156). Flight efficiency is a result of the species having a streamlined head shape, silky fur texture and small manoeuvre-enhancing shaped ears (Bullen & McKenzie 2008 p. 285).


Within the southern distribution, mating occurs around April–May with single young or twins born mid-November (Reardon & Flavel 1991, p. 72; Parnaby 2008, p. 552). In the northern distribution areas, mating occurs in September with often twins being born although triplets have been recorded (Churchill 2008, p. 156). The young are born well developed and without fur (Churchill 2008, p. 156). Newborns use recurved milk teeth to secure themselves to their mother (Reardon & Flavel 1991, p. 17). When the young are around 12 days old their milk teeth are replaced by permanent dentition (Reardon & Flavel 1991, p. 17). The young remain attached to the mother until they are 10 days old and are vocal when not suckling (Churchill 2008, p. 156). By this stage they weigh around 4 grams and are then left behind in the roost when the mother forages at night (Churchill 2008, p. 156; Parnaby 2008, p. 552). Their development progresses with eyes opening and fur growing by the time they are 15 days old (Churchill 2008, p. 156). After 30 days they are exercising their wings and then go on to forage independently (Churchill 2008, p. 156).

Arid and semi-arid area adaptions

Foraging locations in the drier distribution areas appear to depend on nearness to water points and roosting sites (Williams & Dickman 2004, p. 213). In arid areas inland broad-nosed bats possibly obtain water from the insects eaten and further conserve water by producing concentrated urine in specialized kidneys (Williams & Dickman 2004, p. 205). In semi-arid areas foraging is concentrated around water sources with drinking occurring during flight (Reardon & Flavel 1991, p. 72). Similar to other arid zone mammals it is likely, especially in southern distribution areas, that the inland broad-nosed bat is able to enter into prolonged periods of torpor, reducing energy and water requirements (Geiser 2004, p. 130). Another arid and semi-arid adaption is the ability to tolerate high body temperatures (Bondarenco, Körtner & Geiser 2014, p. 684).


Inland broad-nosed bats are a common species but are decreasing in population (Pennay & Lumsden 2008). The ‘wide distribution, large population and occurrence in a number of protected areas’ places this species within the IUCN Red List category of least concern (Pennay & Lumsden 2008). Further research is needed to identify the specific threats to this species (Pennay & Lumsden 2008). Likely threats to roosting sites and feeding grounds include agricultural and forestry activity, clearing for housing, modified fire regimes that eliminate trees with hollows and local removal of access to roosting sites (Parnaby 2008, p. 552). Researchers or wildlife rescuers should be aware that the species are known to be aggressive and their strong jaws deliver a painful bite (Reardon & Flavel 1991, p. 73). Due to their aggressive nature it is also advisable to carry and house them separately to other species (Kemper & Reardon 2014).


  1. ^ Pennay, M. & Lumsden, L. (2008). "Scotorepens balstoni". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2008: e.T14942A4481710. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T14942A4481710.en. Retrieved 8 November 2017.

* Australian Museum 2009, Inland broad-nosed bat, viewed 5 September 2014, http://www.australianmuseum.net.au


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.

Greenish yellow bat

The greenish yellow bat (Scotophilus viridis) is a species of vesper bat. It is found in Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its natural habitats are dry and moist savanna.

Harlequin bat

The harlequin bat (Scotomanes ornatus) is a species of bat in the family Vespertilionidae, the vesper bats. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Scotomanes.

This bat is found in south-eastern Asia from India to China and Vietnam.This is a common and widespread species. It lives in forests and caves and roosts in trees.


Hesperoptenus is a genus of bats within the Vespertilionidae or "Vesper bats" family. Species within this genus are:

Blanford's bat (Hesperoptenus blanfordi)

False serotine bat (Hesperoptenus doriae)

Gaskell's false serotine (Hesperoptenus gaskelli)

Tickell's bat (Hesperoptenus tickelli)

Large false serotine (Hesperoptenus tomesi)


The genus Hypsugo contains many bats referred to as pipistrelles or pipistrelle bats. They belong to the family Vespertilionidae or vesper bats within the order Chiroptera.


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)

List of mammals of Victoria

This is a list of mammals of Victoria, Australia:

Acrobates pygmaeus (feathertail glider)

Aepyprymnus rufescens (rufous rat-kangaroo)

Antechinus agilis (agile antechinus)

Antechinus flavipes (yellow-footed antechinus)

Antechinus minimus (swamp antechinus)

Antechinus swainsonii (dusky antechinus)

Arctocephalus forsteri (New Zealand fur seal)

Arctocephalus pusillus (Cape fur seal)

Arctocephalus tropicalis (subantarctic fur seal)

Balaenoptera acutorostrata (minke whale)

Balaenoptera edeni (Bryde's whale)

Balaenoptera musculus (blue whale)

Balaenoptera physalus (fin whale)

Bettongia gaimardi (eastern bettong)

Bettongia penicillata (woylie)

Burramys parvus (mountain pygmy possum)

Canis lupus dingo (dingo)

Caperea marginata (pygmy right whale)

Capra hircus (goat) — naturalised

Cercartetus concinnus (southwestern pygmy possum)

Cercartetus lepidus (Tasmanian pygmy possum)

Cercartetus nanus (eastern pygmy possum)

Axis axis (axis deer) — naturalised

Dama dama (fallow deer) — naturalised

Cervus timorensis (rusa deer) — naturalised

Chalinolobus gouldii (Gould's wattled bat)

Chalinolobus morio (chocolate wattled bat)

Chaeropus ecaudatus (pig-footed bandicoot) - extinct

Conilurus albipes (white-footed rabbit-rat)

Dasyurus maculatus (tiger quoll)

Dasyurus geoffroii (western quoll)

Dasyurus viverrinus (eastern quoll)

Delphinus delphis (short-beaked common dolphin)

Equus caballus (horse) — naturalised

Eubalaena australis (southern right whale)

Falsistrellus tasmaniensis (eastern false pipistrelle)

Felis catus (cat) — naturalised

Globicephala melas (long-finned pilot whale)

Grampus griseus (Risso's dolphin)

Gymnobelideus leadbeateri (Leadbeater's possum)

Hydromys chrysogaster (water rat)

Hydrurga leptonyx (leopard seal)

Hyperoodon planifrons (bottlenose whale)

Isoodon obesulus (southern brown bandicoot)

Kogia breviceps (pygmy sperm whale)

Lagenodelphis hosei (Fraser's dolphin)

Lagorchestes leporides (eastern hare-wallaby) — extinct

Lepus europaeus (brown hare) — naturalised

Leporillus apicalis (lesser stick rat)

Lobodon carcinophaga (crabeater seal)

Macropus fuliginosus (western grey kangaroo)

Macropus giganteus (eastern grey kangaroo)

Macropus greyi (toolache wallaby) — extinct

Macropus robustus (eastern wallaroo)

Macropus rufogriseus (red-necked wallaby)

Macropus rufus (red kangaroo)

Macrotis lagotis (greater bilby)

Mastacomys fuscus (broad-toothed mouse)

Megaptera novaeangliae (humpback whale)

Mesoplodon bowdoini (Andrews' beaked whale)

Mesoplodon densirostris (Blainville's beaked whale)

Mesoplodon ginkgodens (ginkgo-toothed beaked whale)

Mesoplodon grayi (Gray's beaked whale)

Mesoplodon layardii (Layard's beaked whale)

Mesoplodon mirus (True's beaked whale)

Miniopterus schreibersii (common bentwing bat)

Mirounga leonina (southern elephant seal)

Mormopterus planiceps (southern free-tailed bat)

Mus musculus (house mouse) — naturalised

Myotis adversus (large-footed bat)

Neophoca cinerea (Australian sea lion)

Ningaui yvonneae (southern ningaui)

Notomys mitchellii (Mitchell's hopping mouse)

Nyctophilus geoffroyi (lesser long-eared bat)

Nyctophilus gouldi (Gould's long-eared bat)

Nyctophilus timoriensis (greater long-eared bat)

Onychogalea fraenata (bridled nail-tail wallaby)

Orcinus orca (orca)

Ornithorhynchus anatinus (platypus)

Oryctolagus cuniculus (European rabbit) — naturalised

Perameles bougainville (western barred bandicoot)

Perameles gunnii (eastern barred bandicoot)

Perameles nasuta (long-nosed bandicoot)

Petauroides volans (greater glider)

Petaurus australis (yellow-bellied glider)

Petaurus breviceps (sugar glider)

Petaurus norfolcensis (squirrel glider)

Petrogale penicillata (brush-tailed rock-wallaby)

Phascogale calura (red-tailed phascogale)

Phascogale tapoatafa (brush-tailed phascogale)

Phascolarctos cinereus (koala)

Physeter macrocephalus (sperm whale)

Planigale gilesi (paucident planigale)

Potorous longipes (long-footed potoroo)

Potorous tridactylus (long-nosed potoroo)

Pseudocheirus peregrinus (common ringtail possum)

Pseudomys apodemoides (silky mouse)

Pseudomys australis (plains rat)

Pseudomys bolami (Bolam's mouse)

Pseudomys desertor (brown desert mouse)

Pseudomys fumeus (smoky mouse)

Pseudomys gouldii (Gould's mouse)

Pseudomys novaehollandiae (New Holland mouse)

Pseudomys shortridgei (heath mouse)

Pseudorca crassidens (false killer whale)

Pteropus poliocephalus (grey-headed flying-fox)

Pteropus scapulatus (little red flying-fox)

Rattus fuscipes (bush rat)

Rattus lutreolus (Australian swamp rat)

Rattus norvegicus (brown rat) — naturalised

Rattus rattus (black rat) — naturalised

Rhinolophus megaphyllus (smaller horseshoe bat)

Saccolaimus flaviventris (yellow-bellied pouched bat)

Scotorepens balstoni (western broad-nosed bat)

Scotorepens orion (eastern broad-nosed bat)

Sminthopsis crassicaudata (fat-tailed dunnart)

Sminthopsis leucopus (white-footed dunnart)

Sminthopsis murina (slender-tailed dunnart)

Sus scrofa (pig) — naturalised

Tachyglossus aculeatus (short-beaked echidna)

Tadarida australis (white-striped free-tailed bat)

Thylogale billardierii (Tasmanian pademelon)

Trichosurus caninus (short-eared possum)

Trichosurus vulpecula (common brushtail possum)

Tursiops australis (burrunan dolphin)

Tursiops truncatus (bottlenose dolphin)

Vespadelus baverstocki (inland forest bat)

Vespadelus darlingtoni (large forest bat)

Vespadelus regulus (southern forest bat)

Vespadelus vulturnus (little forest bat)

Vombatus ursinus (common wombat)

Vulpes vulpes (fox) — naturalised

Wallabia bicolor (swamp wallaby)

Ziphius cavirostris (Cuvier's beaked whale)

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

Oldfield Thomas

Michael Rogers Oldfield Thomas FRS FZS (21 February 1858 – 16 June 1929) was a British zoologist.


Platyrrhinus is a genus of leaf-nosed bats in the tribe Stenodermatini of family Phyllostomidae. Twenty one species are known:

Alberico's broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus albericoi

Slender broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus angustirostris

Darien broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus aquilus

Eldorado broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus aurarius

Short-headed broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus brachycephalus

Choco broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus chocoensis

Thomas's broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus dorsalis

Brown-bellied broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus fusciventris

Guianan broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus guianensis

Heller's broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus helleri

Incan broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus incarum

Buffy broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus infuscus

Platyrrhinus ismaeli

White-lined broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus lineatus

Quechua broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus masu

Matapalo broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus matapalensis

Geoffroy's rayed bat, Platyrrhinus nigellus

Western broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus nitelinea

Recife broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus recifinus

Shadowy broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus umbratus

Greater broad-nosed bat, Platyrrhinus vittatus


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.


Scotorepens is a genus of bats within the Vespertilionidae family. Species within this genus are widely distributed across Australia and to the north at Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.


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

Species of subfamily Vespertilioninae


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