Mops leucostigma (G. M. Allen, 1918)

Don E. Wilson & Russell A. Mittermeier, 2019, Molossidae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 9 Bats, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 598-672 : 657

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.6418279


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scientific name

Mops leucostigma


91. View Plate 46: Molossidae

Malagasy White-bellied Free-tailed Bat

Mops leucostigma View in CoL

French: Tadaride a giron blanc / German: Madagaskar-Bulldogfledermaus / Spanish: Mops de Madagascar

Other common names: Madagascar White-bellied Free-tailed Bat, VWWhite-shouldered Bat

Taxonomy. Chaerephon leucostigma G. M. View in CoL

Allen, 1918,

“Tananarive [= Antananarivo], Madagascar.”

This species is monotypic.

Distribution. Comoro Is (Mohéli and Anjouan) and throughout Madagascar (including Nosy Be) except for the C higherlying areas above 1200 m. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head-body 70-90 mm, tail 32-49 mm, ear 14-21 mm, hindfoot 6-10 mm, forearm 40-47 mm; weight 12-28 g. Although measurements overlap, males are significantly larger than females in most external and cranial characters; furthermore, in males, 1nteraural crest is noticeably more developed than in females, nostrils tend to be more elongated and flared in males than in the more blunt-nosed females, and ears are joined by a band of skin that is larger and more inflated in males than in females. Fur is short and almost absent between shoulders, grayish brown or brownish above, beige or white below, with no contrasting mid-ventral markings or flank-stripe. Wings are medium to dark gray. Upper lip has 7-8 well-defined wrinkles on each side and many spoon-hairs. Ears are relatively short, with inner margins joined across forehead by an interaural band of skin bearing a pocket with (males only) an erectile crest of hairs. Anterior palate is closed, and basisphenoid pits are not particularly well developed. As is typical for Mops , cusps on M?® are Vshaped rather than N-shaped (i.e. with third ridge being much reduced).

Habitat. Malagasy White-bellied Free-tailed Bats occupy a range of habitats from urban and agricultural areas to dry deciduous, humid evergreen, montane, and degraded forests, from sea level to elevations of 1300 m.

Food and Feeding. In the Andasibe area, eastern Madagascar, Malagasy White-bellied Free-tailed Bats fed on Coleoptera , Hemiptera , Lepidoptera , and Diptera . Diet varied seasonally with Hemiptera and Diptera mostly consumed in the cold season and Coleoptera during the hot season.

Breeding. A pregnant female with a single embryo was captured in February.

Activity patterns. Malagasy White-bellied Free-tailed Bats roost in buildings, but have also been recorded roosting in caves and in a hollow baobab tree. Predators include bat hawks (Macheiramphus alcinus).

Movements, Home range and Social organization. Malagasy White-bellied Free-tailed Bats roost communally in colonies of 7-25 individuals in natural roosts, and up to 350 individuals in roof spaces of buildings.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Least Concern on The IUCN Red Lust.

Bibliography. ACR (2017), Andriafidison, Andrianaivoarivelo, Ramilijaona et al. (2006), Andrianaivoarivelo et al. (2006), Goodman (2011), Goodman & Cardiff (2004), Goodman & Raherilalao (2013), Goodman et al. (2014), Monadjem, Razafimanahaka et al. (2017c), Ratrimomanarivo et al. (2008).













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