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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2021



Black-bearded Tomb Bat

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6



Family : Emballonuridae
Species : Taphozous melanopogon

Forearm Length : up to 6.5 cm
Tail Length : up to 2.4 cm

This widespread insectivorous bat inhabits various forest types, including scrub and other disturbed areas. It generally roosts in caves and rock crevices, sometimes in the company of other bat species.

The fur colour is generally pale, ranging from buff to greyish-brown. Adult males of the species usually possess a patch of dark fur under the throat. The free tail of this species is long and slender.

The pair of pale bats in Figure 1 were found clinging to the roof of a large limestone cave at Krabi, southern Thailand, in the company of around 50 Great Roundleaf Bat. Colonies of up to 4000 individuals have been reported from other parts of Thailand.

The Black-bearded Tomb Bat ranges from India and Sri Lanka, through Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and southern China to Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Java and Borneo.

Fig 1 : A pair of pale Black-bearded Tomb Bats clings to the roof of a limestone cave at Krabi, southern Thailand.

Fig 2 : Roosting group at Labuanbajo, Flores, Indonesia. The colour of these bats appears darker than usual.

Figs 3 and 4 : A pair roosting in a building in downtown Kota Tinggi, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 5 : Side view of the head, in which the black beard can clearly be seen.

Fig 6 : Example from Penang Island, Peninsular Malaysia, showing its impressive teeth.

References : M2, M3