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Title: Emballonuridae  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Microbat, Mammal classification, List of bats of Australia, Balantiopteryx, List of mammals of Brazil, Greater sac-winged bat, Fauna of New Guinea, Shaggy bat, Short-eared bat, Northern ghost bat
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Sac-winged bats
Sac-winged bat
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Suborder: Microchiroptera
Superfamily: Emballonuroidea
Family: Emballonuridae
Gervais in de Castelnau, 1855

See Text

The 51 species of sac-winged or sheath-tailed bats constitute the family Emballonuridae, and can be found in tropical and subtropical regions all over the world.[1] Emballonurids include some of the smallest of all bats, and range from 3.5 to 10 cm in body length. They are generally brown or grey, although the ghost bats (genus Diclidurus) are white.

They have short tails, which project through the tail membrane, so that the latter forms a sheath. As their name indicates, most species also possess sac-shaped glands in their wings, which are open to the air and may release pheromones to attract mates. Other species have throat glands which produce strong-smelling secretions.[2] They have the dental formula


These bats prefer to roost in areas generally lighter than other species of bats. Their dwellings can often be found in hollow trees and entryways to caves or other structures. Some, such as the tomb bats, live in large roosts, but others are solitary. Species living away from the tropics may become torpid, or even hibernate in winter.[2]

Sac-winged bats feed mainly on insects, and occasionally on fruit. Most of these bats, such as ghost bats, catch their meals while flying; the proboscis bat, on the other hand, catches its prey above water surfaces.

List of species

Family Emballonuridae

  • Genus Balantiopteryx
    • Ecuadorian Sac-Winged Bat, Balantiopteryx infusca
    • Thomas's Sac-Winged Bat, Balantiopteryx io
    • Gray Sac-Winged Bat, Balantiopteryx plicata
  • Genus Centronycteris
    • Thomas's Shaggy Bat, Centronycteris centralis
    • Shaggy Bat, Centronycteris maximiliani
  • Genus Coleura
    • African Sheath-Tailed Bat, Coleura afra
    • Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat, Coleura seychellensis
  • Genus Cormura
    • Chestnut Sac-Winged Bat, Cormura brevirostris
  • Genus Cyttarops
    • Short-eared Bat, Cyttarops alecto
  • Genus Diclidurus - ghost bats
    • Northern Ghost Bat, Diclidurus albus
    • Greater Ghost Bat, Diclidurus ingens
    • Isabelle's Ghost Bat, Diclidurus isabellus
    • Lesser Ghost Bat, Diclidurus scutatus
  • Genus Emballonura
    • Small Asian Sheath-Tailed Bat, Emballonura alecto
    • Peters's Sheath-Tailed Bat, Emballonura atrata
    • Beccari's Sheath-Tailed Bat, Emballonura beccarii
    • Large-Eared Sheath-Tailed Bat, Emballonura dianae
    • Greater Sheath-Tailed Bat, Emballonura furax
    • Lesser Sheath-Tailed Bat, Emballonura monticola
    • Raffray's Sheath-Tailed Bat, Emballonura raffrayana
    • Pacific Sheath-Tailed Bat, Emballonura semicaudata
    • Seri's Sheathtail-Bat, Emballonura serii
    • Western Sheath-tailed Bat, Emballonura tiavato
  • Genus Mosia
    • Dark Sheath-tailed Bat, Mosia nigrescens
  • Genus Peropteryx
    • Greater Dog-like Bat, Peropteryx kappleri
    • White-winged Dog-like Bat, Peropteryx leucoptera
    • Lesser Doglike Bat, Peropteryx macrotis
    • Pale-winged Dog-like Bat, Peropteryx pallidoptera
    • Trinidad Dog-like Bat, Peropteryx trinitatis
  • Genus Rhynchonycteris
    • Proboscis Bat, Rhynchonycteris naso
  • Genus Saccolaimus
  • Genus Saccopteryx
    • Antioquian Sac-winged Bat, Saccopteryx antioquensis
    • Greater Sac-winged Bat, Saccopteryx bilineata
    • Frosted Sac-winged Bat, Saccopteryx canescens
    • Amazonian Sac-winged Bat, Saccopteryx gymnura
    • Lesser Sac-winged Bat, Saccopteryx leptura
  • Genus Taphozous


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