New Zealand Long Tailed Bat, Chalinolobus tuberculata

The New Zealand long-tailed bat (Chalinolobus tuberculata), also known as the long-tailed wattled bat and locally known as pekapeka-tou-roa in the Māori language, is a species that can be found within New Zealand. This bat is classified in the Chalinolobus genus, which contains fifteen species.

Members of this genus are collectively known as wattled bats, pied bats, or long-tailed bats. When females give birth, they gather in all-female colonies of up to 120 individuals. Mothers take complete care of young, and the larger colonies will move from roost to roost every day, separating and rejoining as necessary. Roosts are typically made within treetops, although limestone caves are sometimes used at night when the bats are full.

The New Zealand long-tailed bat holds a large home range of about 38.6 square miles and can fly at a rate of about 37 miles per hour. Its range of echolocation has been known to be heard by humans when it reaches a low enough frequency. This species catches insects while flying, feeding on a number of species such as moths, mosquitoes, midges, and beetles that can be found along forest edges. The New Zealand long-tailed bat appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status “Vulnerable.”

Image Caption: Scotophilus tuberculatus. Credit: GH Ford/Wikipedia