Egyptian free-tailed bat (Tadarida aegyptiaca)

Identification pointers

To an inexperienced observer this third free-tailed species may appear morphologically quite similar to the two above-mentioned relatives .. There are some 14 species of free-tailed bats in the Southern African sub-region. The Egyptian free-tailed bat’s head is slightly more flattened than its other relatives (except for the Flat-headed free-tailed bat, which will not be discussed here). The fur is uniformly coloured brown above and below with wing membranes dark coloured; also the fur appears to be generally a lighter brown than found in the Little free-tailed bat in some regions of Limpopo. Forearm lengths between 45-54 mm and mass between 11-22 g.

Roosting habits

Various crevices ranging from loose bark, roofs of buildings and exfoliating rock outcrops. In KwaZulu-Natal they are commonly found in house roofs but in the Limpopo province seem to prefer granite rock crevices. Roosting colonies are usually smaller than the two above-mentioned species but may reach high numbers in some regions, where a pungent odour and squeaky noises are associated with such large colonies.

Breeding

A single young is born per year in November or December.

Food

Beetles and moths are most commonly preyed upon.8, 10


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