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







Whiskered Myotis

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6

Fig 7

Fig 8


Family : Vespertilionidae
Species : Myotis muricola

Forearm Length : up to 3.8 cm
Weight : up to 5.5 grams

The Whiskered Myotis is a small, insectivorous bat occurring in forested and cultivated areas.  It is well known for roosting by day in young, rolled-up banana leaves. In Thailand large colonies also reportedly roost in caves.

It may be observed flying up and down forest trails, in a linear flight path with stiff wingbeats. The species may also hawk small insects around street lights in suburban areas.

The fur is typically dark brown to dark grey on the upperside, and medium to pale grey underneath.  The wing membrane extends to the base of the toes, and almost fully encloses the tail. The ears are moderately long and pointed, the eyes are small, and the snout is blunt.

The species gets its name from the fine, sensory hairs which protrude from the snout - these can be clearly seen in the close-up in Figure 3.

The species ranges from eastern India through Myanmar, Thailand and Indochina to Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and most of Indonesia and the Philippines. It is locally common in many parts of its range.

Figs 1 and 2 : This bat was disturbed from its daytime roost by gardeners pruning a stand of ornamental banana trees: it flew to an adjacent clump of trees and continued to roost in full daylight. When viewed from the bat's left side (Fig. 1) only an adult bat is apparent, but when viewed from the right side (Fig. 2) a large infant bat can clearly be seen clinging to its parent.

Fig 3 : Another example found clinging to a banana leaf by day. The whiskers can clearly seen extending from the snout.

Fig 4 : Another example from Singapore, flying out of its roost at dusk.

Figs 5 and 6 : Roosting colony inside a rolled-up banana leaf, Bintan Island, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia.

Fig 7 : This example, from coastal, agricultural habitat in Lombok, Indonesia, has golden frosting to the tips of its fur on the throat and belly.

Fig 8 : Example from Singapore roosting inside a rolled-up leaf of a species of Heliconia.

References : M1, M2, M3