Rhinolophus darlingi, K. Andersen, 1905

Burgin, Connor, 2019, Rhinolophidae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 9 Bats, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 280-332 : 293

publication ID

https://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.3748525



persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Rhinolophus darlingi


24 View On . Darling’s Horseshoe Bat

Rhinolophus darlingi View in CoL

French: Rhinolophe de Darling I German: Darling-Hufeisennase / Spanish: Herradura de Darling

Taxonomy. Rhinolophus darlingi K Andersen, 1905 View in CoL ,

“[ Upper] Mazoe [Valley], Mashonaland , 4000 ft. [= 1219 m],” Zimbabwe.

Based on morphological similarities, R darlingi was in the ferrumequinum species group with R damarmsis , R deckend , R silvestris, R hiUorum, R sakejiensis , R bocharicus, R ferrumequinum , R clivosus , R nippon , and R horaceki , however, based on genetics, it is now in the jumigatus group or close to R ferrumequinum . Additional phylogenetic research is needed. Rhinolophus darlingi previously included R damarensis as a subspecies, but they are now recognized as distinct species based on molecular and morphological evidence. Populations of R darlingi in West Africa might ultimately represent distinct species based on divergent ecological niches between these and populations in southern African. Monotypic.

Distribution. SE Africa from SE Zambia, S Malawi, W Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and N Botswana to Swaziland and C & E South Africa, and isolated records from Uganda and Tanzania; there are also apparently records from Togo, Benin, C Nigeria, NE Egypt, and Lesotho, but they need validation and are not mapped here. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head-body c. 50-62 mm, tail 20—37 mm, ear 15-23 mm, hindfoot 8-11 mm, forearm 41- 6—51 mm; weight 6-13 g. Dorsal pelage is gray, brownish gray, or grayish brown (hairs are cream or pale grayish brown, with darker gray, brownish gray, or grayish brown tips); venter is paler, generally pale gray. There is no orange morph. Males lack axillary tufts. Ears are short (40—47% of forearm length). Noseleaf has large subtriangular lancet, with slighdy concave sides and blundy pointed tip; connecting process is smoothly rounded and subequal to height of sella or slightly shorter; sella is naked, with concave sides and broad, rounded tip; and horseshoe is narrow at 7-1-9- 1 mm, nearly covers muzzle, and has lateral leaflets and deep median emargination. Lower lip has one medial groove. Wings and uropatagium are translucent gray to black. Baculum is trumpet-shaped, with rounded, relatively short shaft. Skull is robust, with thick zygomatic arches (zygomatic width is larger than mastoid width); nasal swellings are medium in relative height; frontal depression is shallow to moderately deep, and supraorbital ridges are well defined; sagittal crest is somewhat well-developed anteriorly but weakly developed to absent posteriorly; and interpterygoid groove is conspicuous. P2 is small and completely displaced labially or absent, allowing C1 and P4 to touch, and P3 is tiny and completely displaced labially or absent so that P2 and P4 are in contact Dental formula is variable: I 1/2, C 1/1, P 2/2, M 3/3 (x2) = 30; I 1/2, C 1/1, P 1/2, M 3/3 (x2) = 28; I 1/2, C 1/1, P 2/3, M 3/3 (x 2) = 32; or 11/2, C 1/1, P 1/3, M 3/3 (x2) = 30. Chromosomal complement has 2n = 58 and FNa = 60 ( South Africa).

Habitat. Mesic and semiarid woodland savannas. Darling’s Horseshoe Bats mainly roost in caves and abandoned mines, preferring rocky terrain with crevices in southern part of their distribution.

Food and Feeding. Darling’s Horseshoe Bat is insectivorous; it might forage in cluttered areas.

Breeding. Darling’s Horseshoe Bat might be seasonally monoestrous, but there are not enough data to confirm this. Pregnant females have been captured in October in South Africa and in December in Zimbabwe. A female with young was captured in October in Zimbabwe. Litter size is nearly always one, but twin fetuses were reported in Zimbabwe, with a fetus in each uterine hom.

Activity patterns. Darling’s Horseshoe Bats are nocturnal and are known to roost by day in caves, abandoned mines, large hollow trees, and unused buildings. Call shape is FM/CF/FM, with mean F component of 88-1 kHz and 86 kHz in South Africa and 86-2 kHz and 85-8 kHz in Swaziland.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. Darling’s Horseshoe Bats are known to roost in colonies with two to c.150 individuals, although they are typically found in roosts of dozens of individuals. In roosts, they hang in small clusters but do not touch each another.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Least Concern on The IUCN Red List. Darling’s Horseshoe Bat has a wide distribution with no major threats currently identified, although they might be locally threatened by habitat destruction.

Bibliography. ACR (2018), Cotterill & Happold (2013a), Csorba eta/. (2003), Happold (1987), Jacobs, Babiker et al. (2013), Jacobs, Barclay & Walker (2007), Monadjem, Reside & Lumsden (2007), Monadjem, Shapiro et al. (2017), Monadjem, Taylor, Jacobs & Cotterill (2017e), Rautenbach (1986), Skinner & Chimimba (2005), Smithers (1968), Taylor (1999, 2000).














Rhinolophus darlingi

Burgin, Connor 2019

Rhinolophus darlingi

K Andersen 1905
GBIF Dataset (for parent article) Darwin Core Archive (for parent article) View in SIBiLS Plain XML RDF