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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Great Roundleaf Bat

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6




Family : Hipposideridae
Species : Hipposideros armiger

Forearm Length : up to 9.8 cm
Weight : up to 47 grams

The Great Roundleaf Bat is amongst the largest of the Hipposideros genus, and is the largest example in Southeast Asia. Typically the species roosts in caves, but is also found in abandoned buildings.

Roundleaf bats are insectivorous bats characterised by a horseshoe-shaped base to the noseleaf but, unlike the Rhinolophus horseshoe bats, they lack a 'lancet' or projection from the top of the noseleaf.

Similar in appearance to the closely related, but smaller, Intermediate Roundleaf Bat Hipposideros larvatus, the Great Roundleaf Bat possesses four, not three, lateral accessory leaflets on each side of the main noseleaf (although the outermost leaflet is poorly developed). Males also possess a fleshy, swollen area above and behind the noseleaf.

Its thick and woolly fur is medium brown, and the ears dark brown.

Hipposideros armiger ranges from parts of eastern India, Nepal and southern China (including Taiwan) through Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand to Peninsular Malaysia. It has not been recorded in Singapore.

Fig 1 : Female from Penang Island, Peninsular Malaysia, clinging to the trunk of a coconut palm for a minute or so whilst foraging for insects.

Fig 2 : Female roosting in a limestone cave at Krabi, southern Thailand. A large pup is taking shelter beneath her wing.

Fig 3 : The fleshy swellings above the noseleaf indicate this example to be a male. Seen in an abandoned building at Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia.

Figs 4 and 5 : Examples from Penang Island, Peninsular Malaysia skimming across a grass lawn, and patrolling near a stand of bamboo whilst foraging for insects.

Fig 6 : Maternity colony of Hipposideros armiger in a limestone cave at Krabi, southern Thailand. Also present in the same cave were a pair of Black-bearded Tomb Bat Taphozous melanopogon.

References : M3