TRIDENT LEAF-NOSED BAT – Asellia tridens

TRIDENT LEAF-NOSED BAT

Bats facts: These bats have a feature on their nose that resembles a trident, which is a spear with three prongs. The noseleaf is made up of the horseshoe-shaped lower part, the triangle-shaped central part, and three spear-like projections. The nostrils are located in the front, and there is a frontal sac behind the noseleaf.

The ears are large and nearly hairless. Fur color ranges and includes grayish, pale yellow, and orange-brown. Some trident leaf-nosed bats in Egypt have medium- to dark tan-colored fur. These bats have large ears and pale faces.

Geographic range: These bats are found in Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, the Arabian Peninsula, and Pakistan.

Where do bats live: These bats live in arid (extremely dry) environments. They have often been observed roosting in caves and artificial structures, such as tunnels and old temples. Species have also been spotted roosting in underground tunnels and under the iron roof of a shed in Iraq in June, when the temperature inside the shed was an estimated 100.4°F (38°C).

What do bats eat: Trident leaf-nosed bats eat beetles, bees, ants, and wasps.

Behavior and reproduction: Trident leaf nosed bats catch their prey (animals hunted for food) primarily while they are flying. They also may snatch up prey from the ground and other surfaces. These bats forage in vegetated areas and can travel far across desert areas for food.

Roosts of several hundred individuals have been observed. One researcher in 1980 discovered a roost of about 5,000 individuals. When exiting and entering roosts, these bats have been observed flying in small groups and low to the ground. In Iraq, these bats travel to cellars and tombs when they hibernate, from mid-September to mid-November. They then return to their summer roosts in April.

Trident leaf-nosed bats and people: By destroying their local habitats, there is some evidence that humans have caused a decrease in the bats’ population.

Conservation status: The trident leaf-nosed bat is not considered to be threatened.