Bumblebee Bat Facts | Kitti’s hog-nosed Bats

Bumblebee bat (Craseonycteris thonglongyai) is the world’s smallest bat and for the same reason the bat is named after the bumblebee. It weighs between 0.7 oz and 09 oz. The bat lacks a tail. It begins to feed in evening and never goes far away from its cave.

Bumblebee Bat Facts

  • The world’s smallest mammal bumblebee bat has a thick snout with hog-like nostrils. The eyes are small but the ears are large.
  • The head-and-body length measures around 34 mm (1.3 in) and weighs up to 2.0–2.6 grams. It has 0.9 in, 24–25 mm long forearm. The bats’ eyes are covered with hair.
  • It has relatively long and broad wings and seems more like vampire bats.
  • The hairs are paler on the belly while on the back they are buffy brown.
  • The bumblebee bat has 28 teeth.
  • The bat is known to use 3.5 ms long multiharmonic constant frequency (CF) search signals with an obvious second harmonic at 73 kHz repeated at around 22 Hz.

Bumblebee Bat Distribution

  • The Kitti’s hog-nosed bat is thought to live in two small areas of South East Asia. Most bumblebee bats are found in 21 caves of Thailand. Many of them live in Sai Yok National Park, Kanchanaburi Province. A few are known to exist in the Kwae Noi (River Kwai).
  • An isolated population of bats is also found in a cave in Mon State, Myanmar (Burma).
  • It has a range of 155 mi (250 km).
kittis hognosed bat
Photo Credit: www.thedodo.com

Bumblebee Bats Habitat

  • The bumblebee bats make homes in limestone caves because these caves have several chambers and doomed roofs.
  • In Thailand there was dry deciduous hardwood forest on lands next to the caves. It also had some giant bamboo and dry evergreen forests but now these trees are cut down and the land is converted to agriculture where kapok plantations, bananas, orchards of mangoes, lemon, corn, and jackfruit are grown.
  • In Myanmar the hog-nosed bat makes its habitat in an agricultural area of toddy palms. Together they all leave this place in small separate groups to forage within 820 ft (250 m) of the cave.
  • In evening the hog-nosed bats spend 30 minutes on feeding. After feeding they go back to the cave and stay there for about 40 minutes before sunrise. They will feed again for another 18 minutes.

The Bumblebee bat is half the size of a human finger.

Bumblebee Bats Behavior

The bumblebee bats roost in group of 100 individuals in a cave. Sometimes there are no more than 10 – 15 bats in one cave. However the maximum number of individuals within each group can reach 500 individuals.

What do Bumblebee Bats Eat – Bumblebee Bats Diet and Feeding Ecology 

  • The Kitti’s hog-nosed bat often picks insects directly from twigs or leaves. It is also seen to catch flying insects (during flight). They are mostly found around trees and bamboo.
  • It feeds on small beetles, spiders, flies and other small insects.
  • The bats forage in teak-bamboo forest where they feed on the tops of the co-dominant plants.

Bumblebee Bats Reproductive Biology

The bumblebee bat is thought to be polygamous (having more than one mate). In Thailand a mother was seen with one young bat in May. .

Conservation Status of Bumblebee Bats

There are more than 2,000 bumblebee bats remaining in Thailand. They are endangered.

References for Bumblebee Bat Facts | Kitti’s hog-nosed Bats

Hill, J. E. “A New Family, Genus and Species of Bat (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from Thailand.” Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology 27 (1974): 303–336.

Hulva, P. and I. Horacek. “Craseonycteris thonglongyai (Chiroptera: Craseonycteridae) is a Rhinolophoid: Molecular Evidence from Cytochrome b.” Acta Chiropterologica 4, 2 (2002): 107–120.

Duangkhae, S. “Ecology and Behavior of Kitti’s Hog-nosed Bat (Craseonycteris thonglongyai) in Western Thailand.” Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society 38 (1990): 135–161.

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