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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Did You Know? 13 Incredible Desert Long-Eared Bat Facts

Here are desert long-eared bat facts about this predator.

You might have heard about bats. But, have you ever heard about desert long-eared bats and wondered how they must be. This article has all the information about desert long-eared bats. Desert long-eared bats are types of bats that belong to the species of vesper bats and are found in desert habitats and are found in different parts of the world. They have ears that are long in size and therefore, they are known as desert long-eared bats as well as Hemprich's long-eared bat. The distinguishing physical features of the bats of the genus Otonycteris are pale sandy to dark brown in color above, white underneath, long and dense pelage, large ears, small forehead, two pairs of pectoral mammae, and blunt round ear tips. The ongoing rivalry between desert bats and scorpions is a stuff of the legends.

The size of the desert long-eared bat (Otonycteris hemprichii) is small but the size of their ears is long and therefore they are known by this name. They are also found in the barren and arid regions which suit their body type and they migrate to different places according to the habitat. Therefore, desert long-eared bats are small in size. Almost 70 percent of their droppings comprise of scorpion fragments. For more relatable content, check out these European rabbit facts and Amazon river dolphin facts for kids.

Desert Long-Eared Bat Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a desert long-eared bat?

Desert long-eared bats (Otonycteris hemprichii) are a type of bird from genus Otonycteris which is found in different habitats and belongs to the family of vesper bat. They mostly eat arachnids and orthopterans which they eat directly from the ground. They do not fly fast but when they see their predator approaching them, they tend to fly fast.

What class of animal does a desert long-eared bat belong to?

Desert long-eared bats belong to the family of mammals and are birds that are small in size as compared to the other species of bats. Their ears are usually long in length. Otonycteris hemprichi weigh very little according to their body size as they are very small in size. They are known to forage close to the ground. Head and body length is 2.9-3.2 in (7.3–8.1 cm), tail length is 1.9-2.8 in (4.7-7 cm), and forearm length is 22.4-2.6 in (6-6.6 cm). They hunt for prey on the ground using echolocation calls.

How many desert long-eared bats are there in the world?

As per Holderied et al., there is no accurate number so as to how many desert long-eared bats are there in the world. The number of the Otonycteris hemprichi keeps changing based on different factors which determine the numbers of the bats. Sometimes, there is an increase in the number of bats whereas sometimes there is a decline in the number of bats which is always based on certain factors such as habitat, diet, migration, threats.  This bat species has a floppy and slow flight pattern.

Where does a desert long-eared bat live?

There are different habitats where desert long-eared bats (Otonycteris hemprichii) live which includes barren land, arid regions, sparsely vegetated, and rocky areas. They are also found in desert habitats, semi-deserts and oases, rocky crevices, and also in buildings. They are said to be found in Northern Africa and Central Asia and migrate according to the changes in the climate.

What is a desert long-eared bat's habitat?

Desert long-eared bat's habitat includes barren land, arid regions, sparsely vegetated, and rocky areas. They are also found in desert habitats, semi-deserts and oases, rocky crevices, and also in buildings. They hunt for prey on the ground using echolocation calls.

Who do desert long-eared bats live with?

Desert long-eared bats live in colonies with other bats. Males and females come together during the time of mating. Sometimes, desert long-eared bats prefer to live alone rather than staying in groups. A considerable percentage of their droppings feature scorpion fragments.

How long does a desert long-eared bat live?

Desert long-eared bats are known to live for as long as 22 years in their habitat range but some of the bats live a longer life whereas some of the bats live for a short period of time which is based on certain factors.

How do they reproduce?

The male and female desert long-eared bats (Otonycteris hemprichii) have breeding colonies of about 3-15 females. The breeding behavior in this species is quite unique. The mating of desert long-eared bats takes place upside down whereas some of the bats mate on the cave walls or in the crevices of the rocks. The mating of desert long-eared bats takes place in the fall or in the winter season before they go into hibernation. The male tries to hold the female to begin the mating process. The female then stores the sperm till the time she ovulates it. Since desert long-eared bats are mammals, they do not lay eggs but give birth to offspring.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of desert long-eared bats is Least Concern as per Monadjem, A.; Aulagnier, S.; Hutson, A.M.; Benda, P. (2017), Otonycteris hemprichii, IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.  

Desert Long-Eared Bat Fun Facts

What do desert long-eared bat look like?

Desert long-eared bats are pale sandy to dark brown in color above, white underneath, long and dense pelage, large ears, small forehead, two pairs of pectoral mammae, and blunt round ear tips. Desert long-eared bats are usually small in size as compared to the other species and have ears that are long in size because of which they are known as desert long-eared bats. Head and body length is in the range of 2.9-3.2 in (7.3–8.1 cm), tail length is in the range of 1.9-2.8 in (4.7-7 cm), and forearm length is in the range of 2.4-2.6 in (6-6.6 cm). An echolocation call is used to hunt the prey on the ground for its diet.

These desert bats have a low band of skin connecting their two large ears across the forehead.

How cute are they?

Desert long-eared bats (Otonycteris hemprichii) are cute in their appearance because of their size and also their ears which add to their cuteness. They look very adorable because of their tiny size.

How do they communicate?

Desert long-eared bats (Otonycteris hemprichii) communicate with the help of different high frequencies and their ability to echolocate, and they also have the ability to project sound and use the echoes which helps in determining the direction as well as the distance of the objects. If the frequency of the bat’s sound gets higher, then they can detect a more detailed image of its surroundings. The echolocation call is used to hunt the prey on the ground for its diet.

How big is a desert long-eared bat?

Desert long-eared bats are very small in size as compared to the other species of bats. Head and body length is in the range of 2.9-3.2 in (7.3–8.1 cm), tail length is in the range of 1.9-2.8 in (4.7-7 cm), and forearm length is in the range of  2.4-2.6 in (6-6.6 cm). The length of the ears of desert long-eared bats is bigger as compared to the other species of bats. They are smaller than greater mouse-eared bats.

How fast can a desert long-eared bat fly?

The flying pattern of desert long-eared bats is usually described as floppy and slow. They do not fly fast, they only tend to fly at a higher speed when they see their predator approaching them. Therefore, desert long-eared bats despite their interesting flight pattern, are slow fliers and do not fly fast.

How much does a desert long-eared bat weigh?

The weight of desert long-eared bats is very less according to their body structure and size. The weight of desert long-eared bats is in the range of 0.6-0.7 oz (18-20 g) depending on their feeding behavior. They are nearly four times smaller than ghost bats.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for the male and the female desert long-eared bats. They are simply known as males and females.

What would you call a baby desert long-eared bat?

The baby desert long-eared bats are called pups.

What do they eat?

Desert long-eared bats eat arachnids and orthopterans that are very close to the ground. They also have the ability to detect scorpions as they walk. Therefore, desert long-eared bats are carnivores and eat different types of insects.

Are they dangerous?

No, desert long-eared bat (Otonycteris hemprichii) is not dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

Desert long-eared bats make good pets but keeping them in the house might be a problem for you because of the weather conditions that are required for them. Therefore, desert long-eared bats should not be kept as pets in the house.

Did you know...

Desert long-eared bats are also known as lump-nosed bats or big-eared bats which is one of the smallest species that belongs to the bat family. The ears of desert long-eared bats are folded when they take a rest and some of the bats have glandular lumps. Desert long-eared bats usually hibernate during the different seasons. One of the biggest threats to desert long-eared bats (Otonycteris hemprichii) is a disease and most of them die with the white-nose syndrome which is a fungus. Bats are the only flying mammals. Bats have the ability to clean themselves. This bat uses an echolocation call to hunt prey.

Detailed information regarding this species has been offered by Holderied M, Korine C, Moritz T (2011): Hemprich’s long-eared bat (Otonycteris hemprichii) as a predator of scorpions: whispering echolocation, passive gleaning and prey selection. J Comp Physiol A 197: 425–433.

Qumsiyeh, M. B.; Bickham, J. W. (1993), Chromosomes and Relationships of Long-Eared Bats of the Genera Plecotus and Otonycteris, Journal of Mammalogy specified that chromosomal analysis of these desert bats suggests that they have a close affinity to bats of the genera Barbastella and Plecotus.

The standout features in the appearance of these bats of the genera Otonycteris are desert long-eared bats are pale sandy to dark brown in color above, white underneath, long and dense pelage, large ears, small forehead, two pairs of pectoral mammae, and blunt round ear tips. The teeth of these bats resemble bats of the genus Eptesicus

Are brown long-eared bats rare?

No, the brown long-eared bats are not rare and are widespread and found across Europe and in different parts of the world which does not make them a rare species.

How long are bats' ears?

The ears of the bats are long in size that is why they are known as desert long-eared bats. The ears of the bats are nearly up to 1.6 in (4 cm)  in length and are easily recognized because of their long ears.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Florida panther facts and wild goat facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable desert long-eared bat coloring pages.

*Please note that this is an image of a grey long-eared bat, and not of a desert long-eared bat. If you have an image of a desert long-eared bat, please let us know at [email protected]

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