EGYPTIAN SLIT-FACED BAT – Nycteris thebaica


Bats facts: A distinctive feature of the Egyptian slit-faced bat is its long ears. The bat has long, fine fur that is gray to red.

Its underparts are lighter in color. These bats are also called common slit-faced bats. They are medium-size bats, with an adult weighing about 0.2 to 0.4 ounces (7 to 12 grams)—about the weight of five pennies.

Geographic range: Egyptian slit-faced bats are found in Africa.

Where do bats live: These bats live in the open savanna woodlands of sub Saharan Africa, in the dry or arid (extremely dry) areas of Africa.

These bats can live in a wide range of habitats, with roosts including caves, under mines, buildings, and tree hollows.

What do bats eat : Egyptian slit-faced bats typically diet on arthropods, such as spiders, crickets, and scorpions, as well as insects, such as moths and beetles.

Behavior and reproduction: When foraging for food, Egyptian slit-faced bats pick their prey off the ground and vegetation surfaces, such as leaves or branches, as well as while flying. They can fly slowly and maneuver well, which allows them to hunt close to the ground and in dense vegetation.

These bats use echolocation and simply listening to detect their prey.

Their large ears enable the bats to pick up sounds like the scuffling of some insects or the beating of wings. The purpose of the bird-like chirps they make while searching for their prey at night is unknown.

The roosts of Egyptian-slit faced bats include caves, areas under roads, mines, hollow trees, and roofs. They can be seen hanging from veranda (a structure like a porch) rooftops in temporary night roosts as they rest from their foraging. Observations have spotted colonies ranging in size from several and several hundred individuals.

Females produce a single offspring each year after gestating (being pregnant) for about 150 days. When the female leaves the roost at night to hunt, she takes her young with her and then sets them in another area while she hunts. Both sexes reach reproductive maturity at about their second year of life.

Egyptian-slit faced bats and people: There is no known significant relationship with people.

Conservation status: The IUCN does not consider Egyptian slitfaced bats to be threatened.