Megaderma spasmalesser false vampire bat

Geographic Range

India and Sri Lanka to Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.


This species can live in a variety of habitats including hollow trees, caves, buildings, and any other large, sheltered structure. They are usually found in wet areas.

Physical Description

The total body length is from 65-95mm. There is no external tail. The fur is bluish-gray along the back and brownish-gray along the underside.


Males and females live together throughout the year. The mating season is from November to January. The young (usually 1, rarely 2) are born between April and June after a 150-160 day gestation period. The birth of the young is timed to occur before the monsoon season sets in. The young grow very rapidly and are carried by the mother for 2-3 months.

  • Key Reproductive Features
  • gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
  • sexual


This species roosts in groups of 3-30 individuals and is usually the only animal present at a roost. They seasonally occur in very large groups. They often feed by flying in trees and brush low to the ground. They have been known to enter houses to find food such as small invertebrates or lizards. When they capture prey it is brought back to the roost before being eaten. If young are present, and are old enough to eat solid food, the parents will feed them before they themselves eat.

Communication and Perception

Food Habits

Primarily an insectivore but can be carnivorous, feeding on lizards, other small reptiles, and small rodents.

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

No documented examples. May help control harmful insect pests.

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

No documented examples.

Conservation Status

The Asian False Vampire Bat is not considered threatened or endangered.


Eric J. Ellis (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.


bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate


animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.


forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.


having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.


found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.

World Map


rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


uses touch to communicate


Hill, John E., and Smith, James D. 1984. Bats, A Natural History. Copyright by Hill and Smith.

Nowak, Ronald M., and Paradiso, John L. 1983. Walker's Mammals of the World, 4th Edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press.