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



Diadem Roundleaf Bat

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Family : Hipposideridae
Species : Hipposideros diadema

Forearm Length : up to 8.7 cm
Weight : up to 47 grams

The Diadem Roundleaf Bat is a widespread and adaptable species, occurring in a variety of forested habitats.

This is amongst the largest of roundleaf bats in Southeast Asia, and is easily identified by the presence of well-defined white or pale orange patches of fur on the sides of its body and shoulders. The rest of the upper body fur is a rich, dark brown colour, and the face and underparts pale.

When hunting, this bat typically hangs from a perch waiting to ambush large insects, such as moths, as they fly past. Other insects consumed may include those with a thick exoskeleton such as beetles, weevils and katydids : the soft parts of such insects are consumed and the inedible parts, such as wings, carapace and legs are  discarded below the perch.

The species makes use of a variety of roosts including treeholes, caves or the shelter of large-leaved palms.  Large caves may shelter  maternity roosts numbering in their thousands.

On mainland Southeast Asia this species occurs in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Peninsular Malaysia. It has never been recorded in Singapore. In insular Southeast Asia it occurs on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Borneo and many islands of eastern Indonesia to New Guinea. It also occurs in the Philippines and parts of the eastern Pacific (including parts of Australia). Many subspecies are recognised.

Fig 1 : A Diadem Roundleaf Bat hangs suspended from a narrow twig along a forest trail, whilst waiting for insect prey to fly past. Seen at Langkawi Island, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 2 : Underside of the same specimen.

Fig 3: Lowland, primary forest on the island of Langkawi, where the above images of Hipposideros diadema were taken.

Fig 4 : Roosting group at Niah cave complex, Sarawak, Borneo. Photo thanks to Gloria Seow.

Fig 5 : Close-up of the complex noseleaf, and the three 'lateral leaflets' (which in this image are to the left of the eye). Photo thanks to Gloria Seow.

References : M4, M5


Fig 4

ゥ  Gloria Seow

Fig 5

ゥ  Gloria Seow