Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Philippines. Also recorded from the islands of Penang, Singapore and Tioman.
Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )
The naked bat is a striking member of the Molossidae. It is virtually hairless, except for short, fine hairs on the head and tail membrane, and black, bristly hairs around the neck, on the first toe of the hind foot (probably used for grooming) and on the throat sack, which produces a strong-smelling secretion. Males secrete the substance by a series of small pores, females by a single large orifice (Lekagul and McNeely, 1977). Both sexes also possess a pouch along the sides of the body, formed by a fold of skin that runs from the upper arm to the upper part of the leg. The pouches open towards the rear and the wings are pushed into them by the hind feet. In this way, the bat can move about relatively freely on all four limbs. C. torquatus has the thickest jaws, widest face, and some of the broadest-tipped wings in the entire family. The head is relatively large and broad with a well-developed posterior sagittal crest. Unlike most Molossidae, the ears are separate, small and triangular, and the lips are smooth. The muzzle lacks a noseleaf and the snout projects well beyond the bottom jaw. The thick, elastic skin is almost black and contains many wrinkles and folds. The thick tail protrudes well over half its length. The wings are attached to the midpoint of the back. The first toe of each hind foot is opposable and equipped with a flattened nail rather than a claw. The dental formula is 1/1, 1/1, 1/2, 3/3 x 2 = 26. The upper incisors are robust, short and protrude forward. There is a diastema between the upper incisor and canine (Lekagul and McNeely, 1977). Head and body: 132-145 mm; tail: 56-71 mm. Weight: 167-196 grams.
Range mass: 167 to 196 g.
Range length: 115 to 145 mm.
Habitat and Ecology
Naked bats roost in hollow trees, caves, buildings, rock crevices, and holes in the earth.
C. torquatus is insectivorous. The diet primarily consists of termites and other insects, hunted either over clearings and fields or above the forest canopy. Wastes are eliminated as both feces and oral pellets.
Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore )
Life History and Behavior
C. torquatus usually has two offspring. The mammae are positioned near the opening of the pouch, which is present in both sexes and runs along the sides of the body. It was traditionally thought that the young were carried and nursed in the pouch. However, according to Nowak (1991) the young are probably left in the roost when the parents leave on their evening flights.
Average number of offspring: 2.
Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); viviparous
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1996Lower Risk/near threatened
Listed as Lower Risk/Near Threatened by the International Union of Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern
In Peninsular Malaysia the species is eaten by indigenous people and it is believed to be a pest of rice crops – roosts are destroyed in an effort to control the species. It is under threat from destruction of cave habitats though mining in other parts of its range.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
Farmers in Malaya believe that C. torquatus feeds on paddy, gathering grain from ripe ears to store in the roost. However, it is more likely that rats, which share this habitat with bats, are responsible for the grain found inside hollow trees (Medway, 1978).
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Since C. torquatus live in large numbers they consume vast quantities of insect pests.
Positive Impacts: controls pest population
- Chiroptera Specialist Group 1996. Cheiromeles torquatus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 30 July 2007.
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