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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2023



Creagh's Horseshoe Bat

Family : Rhinolophidae
Species : Rhinolophus creaghi

Forearm Length : up to 5.1 cm
Weight : up to 13.5 grams

Rhinolophus creaghi (Creagh's Horseshoe Bat) is a geographically widespread species, however it appears to be known only from areas of karst limestone where large caves may support roosts of up to one hundred thousand.

Fur colour of this small bat varies between different subspecies or populations, ranging from reddish to yellow-brown to grey-brown. The two examples shown here, from the Niah cave complex in Sarawak, where the species is described as rare (Phillipps & Phillipps, 2016), are mainly dark grey.

This species bears a conical tuft of hairs on the posterior part of the noseleaf (i.e. the upper part of the noseleaf between the eyes); this is an uncommon feature in rhinolophid bats.

The most recent IUCN assessment (2018) includes the following locales for this species; Borneo (particularly Sarawak, Sabah and Sangkulirang, East Kalimantan), Palawan (Philippines), Madura Island (which lies off the northeast coast of Java, Indonesia) and Nusa Penida (which lies off Bali, Indonesia).

Figs 1 and 2 : Two examples from the Niah cave complex, Sarawak, Borneo. These bats were identified as Rhinolophus creaghi as some stiff, straight hairs can be discerned on the noseleaf in close-up. Photos thanks to Gloria Seow.

Fig 3 : A distant view of Niah caves, clothed in dense forest.

Fig 4 : Lowland forest along the main trail leading to Niah caves, where Rhinolophus creaghi is likely to forage.

References : M2, M12

Hall, L. S., Richards, G., & Abdullah, M. T. (2002). The bats of Niah National Park, Sarawak. Sarawak Museum Journal, 52(78), 255-282.

Fig 1

ゥ  Gloria Seow

Fig 2

ゥ  Gloria Seow

Fig 3

Fig 4