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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Kitti's Hog-nosed Bat

Family : Craseonycteridae
Species : Craseonycteris thonglongyai

Forearm Length : 2.2 to 2.6 cm
Weight : 2.0 to 3.2 grams

Weighing less than 3.2 grams, Kitti's Hog-nosed Bat (also known as Bumblebee Bat) is one of the world's smallest mammals. It is named after Kitti Thonglongya who first discovered the species.

This tiny bat is known to roost in in a limited number of limestone caves in western Thailand (Kanchanaburi province only) and parts of neighbouring Myanmar (Kayin and Mon states) up to elevations of 500 metres (Bates et al, 2019).

Most colonies in Thailand have between 100 and 400 individuals, whilst colonies in Myanmar are typically larger; roost counts are best made at dusk when the bats emerge from their caves to begin foraging for insects (Puechmaille et al, 2009).

This unique bat appears able to adapt reasonably well to modified, mainly agricultural habitats surrounding its cave roosts as long as there are sufficient trees around which it can forage for insects (Francis, 2019).

The muzzle of this diminutive species is thick and very pronounced, and the ears are relatively large and somewhat pointed. Its fur is brownish in adults, and greyish in juveniles.

Hog-nosed bats possess an interfemoral membrane (i.e. the rear flight membrane stretching between the legs), but lack a tail which, in other species, helps to provide some rigidity to this membrane. They also lack calcar, which are rigid structures occurrring in some bats at the outer edge of the interfemoral membrane.

The populations in Myanmar and Thailand may potentially be separate species, however there are no recent, definitive publications on this matter. The species is classified as near-threatened (Bates et al, 2019).

For a detailed review of the conservation status of Craseonycteris thonglongyai in Myanmar and Thailand, readers are referred to Pereira et al (2006) and Puechmaille et al (2009) respectively.

Figs 1 to 3 : Examples from a limestone cave in Kanchanaburi province, western Thailand.

All photos thanks to Pipat Soisook.

Links :

Wikipedia - Kitti Thonglongya

References :

Bates, P., Bumrungsri, S. & Francis, C. 2019. Craseonycteris thonglongyai. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T5481A22072935

Pereira, M. J. R., Rebelo, H., Teeling, E. C., O'Brien, S. J., Mackie, I., Bu, S. S. H., Swe, K. M., Mie, K. M. and Bates, P. J. J. 2006. Status of the world's smallest mammal, the bumble-bee bat Craseonycteris thonglongyai, in Myanmar. Oryx 40(4): 456-463

Puechmaille, S. J., Soisook, P., Yokubol, M., Piyapan, P., Gouilh, M. A., Mie, K. M., Kyaw, K. K., Mackie, I., Bumrungsri, S., Dejtaradol, A., Nwe, T., Bu, S. S. H., Satasook, C., Bates, P. J. J. and Teeling, E. 2009. Population size, distribution, threats and conservation status of two endangered bat species: Craseonycteris thonglongyai and Hipposideros turpis. Endangered Species Research 8: 15-23.


Fig 1 

ゥ  Pipat Soisook

Fig 2

ゥ  Pipat Soisook

Fig 3

ゥ  Pipat Soisook