Free-tailed bat

Free-tailed bat
Free-tailed Bats
Temporal range: Late Eocene to Recent
Unidentified molossid. Note that the tail extends beyond the uropatagium
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Suborder: Microchiroptera
Superfamily: Molossoidea
Family: Molossidae
Gervais in de Castelnau, 1855


Molossidae, or free-tailed bats, are a family of bats within the order Chiroptera.[1] They are generally quite robust, and consist of many strong flying forms with relatively long and narrow wings. Another common name for some members of this group, and indeed a few species from other families, is Mastiff Bat. The Western mastiff bat, Eumops perotis, a large species from the southwestern United States and Mexico with wings over 0.5 m (1.6 ft) across, is perhaps one of the best known with this name. They are widespread, being found on every continent except Antarctica.

The family name is derived from a length of "free" tail, projecting beyond the end of the uropatagium - the membrane that connects the base of the tail to the hind legs. The tail is usually best seen when resting. A special ring of cartilage slides up or down the tail vertebrae by muscular action to stretch or retract the tail membrane. This gives many species a degree of fine tuning in their flight maneuvers to rival their day flying ecological equivalents, such as swifts, swallows and martins. As a result, these animals include the fastest flying of all bat species among their number.[2] The dental formula of Free-tailed bats varies between species:Upper: 1.1.1-2.2-3, lower: 1-

Free-tailed bats are usually grey, brown, or black in color, although there are some exceptions. They range from 4 to 12 cm (1.6 to 4.7 in) in length, excluding the tail, and can weigh anything from 8 to 220 g (0.28 to 7.8 oz), depending on species. They are insectivorous, and catch their food on the wing. While some species roost in small groups in hollow trees or rocky crevices, some cave-dwelling species form vast colonies of up to fifty million individuals.[2]


There are eighteen genera in total and about 100 species:



  1. ^ a b c Simmons, Nancy B. (2005). "Chiroptera". In Wilson, Don E.; Reeder, DeeAnn M.. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 312–529. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. Retrieved 2 October 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Macdonald, D., ed (1984). The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 807. ISBN 0-87196-871-1. 
  3. ^ Gardner, Alfred L. (2008). Mammals of South America: Marsupials, xenarthrans, shrews, and bats. University of Chicago Press. pp. 669. ISBN 0226282406. 
  • Corbet, GB, Hill JE. 1992. The mammals of the Indomalayan region: a systematic review. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Mohd. Azlan J., Ibnu Maryanto, Agus P. Kartono and M.T. Abdullah. 2003 Diversity, Relative Abundance and Conservation of Chiropterans in Kayan Mentarang National Park, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Sarawak Museum Journal 79: 251-265.
  • Hall LS, Richards GC, Abdullah MT. 2002. The bats of Niah National Park, Sarawak. Sarawak Museum Journal. 78: 255-282.

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  • free-tailed bat — /free tayld / any of various small, swift, insect eating bats of the family Molossidae, common in warm climates, having thick, leathery ears and a tail that projects well beyond the tail membrane. * * * Any of about 90 species of bats (family… …   Universalium

  • free-tailed bat — plačiaausis raukšlėtalūpis statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Tadarida teniotis angl. European free tailed bat; free tailed bat vok. Bulldogg Fledermaus; europäische Bulldogg Fledermaus; Faltenlippen… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • free-tailed bat — noun small swift insectivorous bat with leathery ears and a long tail; common in warm regions • Syn: ↑freetail, ↑freetailed bat • Hypernyms: ↑carnivorous bat, ↑microbat • Hyponyms: ↑guano bat, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • free-tailed bat — noun a streamlined fast flying insectivorous bat with a projecting tail. [Many species in family Molossidae.] …   English new terms dictionary

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  • European Free-tailed Bat — Taxobox name = European Free tailed Bat status = LR/lc | status system = IUCN2.3 regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Chiroptera familia = Molossidae genus = Tadarida species = T. teniotis binomial = Tadarida teniotis… …   Wikipedia

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  • Gland-tailed Free-tailed Bat — Conservation status Least Concern (IUCN 3.1) Scientific classification …   Wikipedia

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