Rhinolophus swinnyi, Gough, 1908

Burgin, Connor, 2019, Rhinolophidae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 9 Bats, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 280-332 : 284

publication ID




persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Rhinolophus swinnyi


8 View On . Swinny’s Horseshoe Bat

Rhinolophus swinnyi  

French: Rhinolophe de Swinny I German: Swinny-Hufeisennase I Spanish: Herradura de Swinny

Taxonomy. Rhinolophus swinnyi Gough, 1908   ,

Ngqeleni District, Pondoland , Eastern Cape Province, South Africa   .

Rhinolophus swinnyi   is in the capensis   species group with R capensis   , R gorongosae   , R rhodesiae   , R simulator   , R denti   , and R alticolus   , and genetic data have placed it close to R capensis   . Populations now attributed to A rhodesiaewad. R gorongosae'were previously included in R swinnyi   , but genetic and morphological data support their specific status. Monotypic.

Distribution. E South Africa, including KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces; specimens from Mpumalanga Province are tentatively included here. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head—body c. 42 — 47 mm, tail 18-27 mm, ear 17-2-21- 6 mm, hindfoot 8—9 mm, forearm 40- 8-45 mm. Pelage is soft and flufly, being pale gray dorsally (hairs with pale cream bases) and paler ventrally, occasionally off-white or creamy. Dorsal pelage can also be bright orange in orange morph. Males lack axillary tufts. Ears are short (42 - 45 % of forearm length). Noseleaf has subtriangular lancet, with distinctly concave sides and bluntly pointed tip; connecting process is rounded (about the same height as sella); sella is naked, with slighdy concave sides; narial lobes at base of sella are comparatively low; and horseshoe is narrow (width 6-7- 4 mm), does not cover entire muzzle, does not have any lateral leaflets, and has deeply notched median emargination. Lower lip has three grooves, with lateral grooves being occasionally indistinct. Wings and uropatagium are brown. Baculum is distinguished from Roberts’s Horseshoe Bat (A rhodesiae   ) by being shorter and not tapered and having narrower base. Skull is delicately built, with thin zygomatic arches; nasal swellings are rounded; frontal depression is very shallow and sometimes nearly flat; supraorbital ridges are weak; sagittal crest is absent posteriorly and very low anteriorly, being weakly developed; P2 is small but in tooth row, and C1 and P4 are well separated as a result; and P3 is tiny and completely displaced labially that allows P2 and P4 to touch or nearly touch one another. Chromosomal complement has 2n = 58 and FNa = 62.

Habitat. Mostly savanna woodlands. In KwaZulu-Natal, Swinny’s Horseshoe Bat is found in montane Podocarpus   ( Podocarpaceae   ) mist forests.

Food and Feeding. Swinny’s Horseshoe Bat is insectivorous and probably forages by slow hawking and possibly gleaning.

Breeding. No information.

Activity patterns. Swinny’s Horseshoe Bat is nocturnal. Call shape is FM /CF/FM, and peak F component is 104-9-106-7 kHz in South Africa.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. No information.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Least Concern on The IUCNed List. This assessment includes populations now attributed to Roberts’s Horseshoe Bat and Gorongosa Horseshoe Bat (A gorongosae   ). Distribution ofSwinny’s Horseshoe Bat is now restricted to South Africa, and it is considered relatively rare. Populations might be threatened by local deforestation from logging and agricultural expansion.

Bibliography. ACR (2018), Cotterill (2002a, 2013e), Csorba eta /. (2003), Monadjem & Cotterill (2017 a), Rautenbach (1986), Taylor (2000).














Rhinolophus swinnyi

Burgin, Connor 2019

Rhinolophus swinnyi

Gough 1908