Taphozous melanopogon, Temminck, 1841

Bonaccorso, Frank, 2019, Family Emballonuridae (Sheath-tailed Bats), Handbook of the Mammals of the World, Vol. 9, Lyny Edicions, pp. 350-373: 353

publication ID




persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Taphozous melanopogon


7 View On . Black-bearded Tomb Bat

Taphozous melanopogon  

French: Taphien à barbe noire / German: Schwarzbart-Grabfledermaus I Spanish: Tafozo de barba negra

Taxonomy. Taphozous   melanopogonTemminck, 1841, Bantam, Westjava , Indonesia   . Taphozous melanopogon   is in the subgenus Taphozous   . Subspecies philippinensis named by G. R. Waterhouse in 1845 is now considered invalid. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution. . m. melanopogon Temminck, 1841   — from Java through Lesser Sundas including Lombok, Sumbawa, Moyo, Alor Is, and Timor I.. m. bicolor Temminck, 1841 — E India.. m. cavaticus Hollister, 1913-W Sumatra.. m. fretensis Thomas, 1916 - Borneo, over scattered locations from N Sabah to Sarawak and S Martapura in S Kalimantan. Taphozous melanopogon   occurs from Sri Lanka and India through S China and SE Asia into islands of Indonesia including Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Is, Sulawesi, and many smaller islands, also in the Philippines. Subspecies to which many of these populations belong are unknown. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head—body 67—86 mm, ear 21—23 mm, hindfoot 13—15 mm, tail 11 -9—26 mm, forearm 60—68 mm; weight 21—26 g. Dorsum of the Black-bearded Tomb Bat ranges from very dark brown in younger individuals to paler cinnamon drab in mature males. Basal part of hairs is pale pinkish buff in mature adult males and white in juveniles and young adults. Venter is paler than dorsum. Females in India often have a more reddish hue and hairs of young individuals are brown, and mature adults are tawny olive. Throat beard of adult males is dense mat of black hairs up to 25 mm long across full width of throat. Proximal one-third of forearm is furred along inner dorsal surface and same color as dorsum. Ear is lightly furred along external margin. Wing membranes are predominately sepia. Uropatagium is lightly furred but becomes dense near tail. Tail is thickened at tip. Legs and feet are hairy. There are well-developed radio-metacarpal sacs in wings. Wing membrane attaches above ankle to tibia.

Habitat. Many forest habitats and urban areas from sea level to hilly areas at c.800 m.

Food and Feeding. The Black-bearded Tomb Bat feeds on aerial insects.

Breeding. Some colonies of Black-bearded Tomb Bats are unisexual. Single young are bom after gestation of 120-125 days. Beard ofmales becomes wet with secretions during breeding season, presumably related to chemical communication related to breeding.

Activity patterns. The Black-bearded Tomb Bat roosts in well-lit areas in caves including sea caves, large rock crevices, and buildings including temples, mines, and tunnels.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. Roosting colonies ofBlack-bearded Tomb Bats range from a few individuals to thousands.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Least Concern on 77 ie IUCN Red List. The Black-bearded Tomb Bat has a large distribution and presumably large and stable overall population. Some populations occur in protected reserves. Because it will inhabit secondary forests and anthropogenic habitats, it appears to have locally stable or slightly decreasing populations. In South Asia, the Black-bearded Tomb Bat is regionally threatened by habitat loss from commercial logging and agriculture and disturbance to roost caves by humans. Local subsistence hunting of larger colonies in cave roosts occurs in Laos and the Philippines.

Bibliography. Bates & Harrison (1997), Flannery (1995b), Heaney eta/. (1998), Kitchener & Suyanto (1995), Kitchener, Schmitt (1993), Lawrence (1939), Molur eta/. (2002), Rickart eta/. (1993), Sanborn (1952), Smith & XieYan (2008), Taylor (1934), Waterhouse (1845).














Taphozous melanopogon

Bonaccorso, Frank 2019

Taphozous melanopogon

Temminck 1841