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Large-footed Myotis
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


Fig 3


Fig 4


Fig 5




 

Order : CHIROPTERA
Family : Vespertilionidae
Species : Myotis spp. 
(Tentatively M. horsfieldii and M. hasseltii featured here)

Forearm Length : 3.5-4.3 cm
Weight : 5.0-12.5 grams

A number of species of Myotis possess enlarged or modified feet which appear to have evolved to pluck insects and small fish from the surface of water bodies including lakes, ponds, large rivers,  small streams and mangrove inlets.

These bats are most easily observed at dusk as they patrol the margins of water bodies, generally flying less than one metre above the water's surface. Small flying insects often emerge at this time, and these bats take full advantage of abundant prey to feed intensively at dusk before dispersing.

Roosts are typically located near the water's edge - in caves, rock crevices and possibly treeholes. Some species have adapted to roost in the shelter of man-made structures such as low bridges, covered drains and road culverts.

Two examples of Large-footed Myotis are shown here : based on known distributions, tentatively these two species might be Horsfield's Myotis  (Myotis horsfieldii) and Hasselt's Myotis (Myotis hasseltii).

Francis (2008) lists 6 species of Large-footed Myotis present on the mainland of Southeast Asia (Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore). Other species inhabit insular Southeast Asia (Philippines, Indonesia etc.).


Fig 1 : An adult Large-footed Myotis with a youngster clinging to its back. This species has grey to olive-grey fur on its back and sides, and light grey to white fur on the belly. Tentatively M. horsfieldii.

Figs 2 and 3 : These Large-footed Myotis (tentatively M. horsfieldii) are patrolling a slow-flowing river at dusk. Their mouths are open as they emit an echolocation signal.

Fig 4 : Roosting group of Large-footed Myotis in a man-made drainage tunnel. This species has medium brown fur on its back and sides, and buff fur on the belly. Tentatively M. hasseltii.

Fig 5 : Close-up of the large foot, long toes and sharp claws of a Large-footed Myotis. The wing is attached near the ankle.

All photos from Singapore.  Thanks to Chan Kwok Wai for assistance.


References : M3, M5, M6