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



Blyth's (Glossy) Horseshoe Bat

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4











Family : Rhinolophidae
Species : Rhinolophus lepidus refulgens

Forearm Length : up to 4.1 cm

Blyth's Horseshoe Bat, or Glossy Horseshoe Bat, roosts in caves, boulder crevices, and man-made structures such as tunnels and drain culverts.

This is a small bat species with two colour phases - one reddish-brown, the other grey. In all forms the fur is quite glossy, and the underparts are pale.

The noseleaf is elaborate and comprises a typically shaped anterior horseshoe structure, a pointed bifurcated stella, and a high, pointed lancet.

On the island of Tioman, which lies off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia in the South China Sea, this bat is regularly active by day. It is postulated that the reduced number of diurnal avian predators on the island has allowed the species to take advantage of daytime insect prey (Chua & Aziz, 2018).

Formerly Rhinolophus refulgens (Glossy Horseshoe Bat), was considered a separate species to Rhinolophus lepidus (Blyth's Horseshoe Bat), the latter ranging from the Indian Subcontinent and Burma to southern China and northern Thailand.  R. refulgens is now relegated to the subspecies R. lepidus refulgens, which has a complimentary geographical range from southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore to Sumatra.

Figs 1 and 2 : Typical roost amongst granite boulders, in a steep, wooded valley.

Fig 3 : Reddish-brown example from Singapore.

Fig 4 : Greyish colour phase from Singapore.

References : M3

Chua, M. A. & Aziz, S. A. 2018. Into the light: atypical diurnal foraging activity of Blyth痴 horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus lepidus (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) on Tioman Island, Malaysia. Mammalia.