Kerivoula lanosalesser woolly bat

Geographic Range

Kerivoula lanosa was originally thought to be restricted to the southeastern region of sub-saharan Africa. The species was recorded in southeastern Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Africa) and Zambia and south into Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Botswana. In 1988, these bats were discovered in Nigeria and western central Africa, including the counries of Liberia, Ghana, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Gabon, and along the Ivory Coast. In general, K. lanosa is a rare, but widely spread species. (Hill, et al., 1988; Rautenbach, et al., 1984; Rosevear, 1965; Smithers, 1983)


Kerivoula lanosa tend to be associated with aquatic environments, although some specimens have been collected in forested regions. They are usually found near rivers both in dry environments as well as well watered areas. It is believed that K. lanosa uses abandoned bird nests for shelter during the day, especially those of weavers. (Roberts, 1951; Smithers, 1983)

  • Aquatic Biomes
  • rivers and streams
  • coastal

Physical Description

Members of this genus are all characterized by their grizzled, woolly, hair and buffy coloration. The hair of K. lanosa is curled, darker at the base than the tip, and extends onto the forearm and the fringes of the wings. The ventral surface, including the throat, is a much lighter shade of buff or white. Hairs on the interfemoral membrane tend to curve inward and have a hooked appearance. As in other members of Kerivoula, K. lanosa possess a high braincase that tends to rise very steeply from the rostrum. K. lanosa also has broad, pointed ears that have a funnel shape. A calcaneum supports the outer regions of the interfemoral membrane, which extends beyond the feet. (Rautenbach, et al., 1984; Roberts, 1951; Smithers, 1983)

These animals have a mass ranging from 6 to 8 g. They are about 8 cm long.

  • Range mass
    6 to 8 g
    0.21 to 0.28 oz
  • Average length
    8 cm
    3.15 in


No information is available on the reproductive habits of K. lanosa.

Reproduction has apparently not been well studied in this species, and the only information available is on the reproductive behavior of members of the family (Vespertilionidae). Membes of this family may produce one or two offspring after a gestation of 40 to 100 days. (Kingdon, 1974)

  • Breeding interval
    The breeding interval of these animals has not been reported.
  • Breeding season
    The breeding season of these animals has not been reported.
  • Range number of offspring
    1 to 2
  • Range gestation period
    40 to 100 days

No information is available for K. lanosa. However, as in all mammals, we may assume that the mother provides the bulk of the parental care. Females nurse their offspring, as well as provide them with protection and grooming. Males of the genus Kerivoula may be associated with females and their young, although there is no direct evidence of male parental care. (Nowak, 1999)

  • Parental Investment
  • no parental involvement
  • female parental care
  • pre-fertilization
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-hatching/birth
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-weaning/fledging
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-independence
    • protecting
      • female


No information is available on K. lanosa for this category.


Partially because the species is widespread and relatively rare, there is no information available on the habits of K. lansosa. It is known, however, that the flight of this species is fairly slow and has been described as fluttering. It is also known that these animals are nocturnal. (Rosevear, 1965; Smithers, 1983)

Home Range

(No information available).

Communication and Perception

While there is no information available on how K. lanosa communicates with conspecifics, it is known that all members of the subfamily (Microchiroptera) use echolocation to hunt.

Food Habits

All members of the suborder (Microchiroptera) use high frequency sounds to locate their prey. K. lanosa is insectivorous. (Smithers, 1983)

  • Animal Foods
  • insects


(No information available).

Ecosystem Roles

Bats play a very important ecological role in almost every ecosystem worldwide as pollinators, seed dispersers, and insectivores. While there is no information on the impact that K.lanosa has on its ecosystem, there is significant research available on other members of the family Vespertilionidae. All information in this category is based on research for other species of the family, and not that of K. lanosa. All members of the family are insectivorous and play a very important role in the balance of their respective ecosystems. ("Michrochiropteran Bats: Global Status Survey and Conservation Action", 2001; Ducummon, 2000)

One member of the Vespertilionidea family, Myotis lucifugus (little brown bat) can consume over 1200 (mosquito size) insects in one hour and eat 100 percent of its own body mass every night. Roughly 80 percent of M. lucifugus in the northern US and Canada eat mosquitoes. These bats are known to be very important in pest control in the region. A single 150 member colony of the species Eptesicus fuscus (big brown bat) is capable of consuming over 123,000 pest insects each summer. It is reasonable to assume that K. lanosa is like other members of its family with regard to its impact on local insect populations. ("Michrochiropteran Bats: Global Status Survey and Conservation Action", 2001; Ducummon, 2000)

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

All information in this category is based on other memmbers of the family Vespertilionidae. There is no information on the economic importance of K. lanosa. ("Michrochiropteran Bats: Global Status Survey and Conservation Action", 2001; Ducummon, 2000)

The diet of E. fuscus specifically includes insects known to defoliate trees and the roots of grasses and other plants. These insects are pests in both orchards and soybean fields, and cause the spread of many plant diseases. One beetle reduces productivity by 10 to 13 percent, costs $15 to $25 per acre, and costs an estimated 33 billion dollars to American farmers each year. Yet an E. fuscus colony of about 150 animals can devastate 33 million of the beetles’ larvae each year. Because over 35 percent of its diet includes these insects, E. fuscus is considered to be very important for pest control. K. lanosa may perform a similar service by destroying insects. ("Michrochiropteran Bats: Global Status Survey and Conservation Action", 2001; Ducummon, 2000)

Another member of the Vespertilionidae family, Antrozous pallidu, is also an important asset to ranchers. Pallid bats, A. pallidus, are known for consumption of grasshoppers and crickets. This species is another example of the importance of bats as insectivores in many ecosystems ("Michrochiropteran Bats: Global Status Survey and Conservation Action", 2001; Ducummon, 2000)

  • Positive Impacts
  • controls pest population

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

(No information available).

Conservation Status

(No information available).


Nancy Shefferly (editor), Animal Diversity Web.

Casey Bartrem (author), Michigan State University, Barbara Lundrigan (editor, instructor), Michigan State University.



living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.

World Map


uses sound to communicate

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.


an animal that mainly eats meat


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate


the nearshore aquatic habitats near a coast, or shoreline.


The process by which an animal locates itself with respect to other animals and objects by emitting sound waves and sensing the pattern of the reflected sound waves.


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.

female parental care

parental care is carried out by females


union of egg and spermatozoan


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


An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.


offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).

keystone species

a species whose presence or absence strongly affects populations of other species in that area such that the extirpation of the keystone species in an area will result in the ultimate extirpation of many more species in that area (Example: sea otter).


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.


active during the night


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.

seasonal breeding

breeding is confined to a particular season


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


uses touch to communicate


that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).


the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.

tropical savanna and grassland

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.


A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

temperate grassland

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.


uses sound above the range of human hearing for either navigation or communication or both


reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.


2001. Michrochiropteran Bats: Global Status Survey and Conservation Action. Oryx, 35 (4): 363.

Ducummon, S. 2000. Ecological and Economic Importance of Bats. Bat Conservation and Mining: A Technical Interactive Forum.

Hill, J., D. Harrison, T. Jones. 1988. New record of bats (Microchiroptera) from Nigeria. Mammalia, 52/4: 590-592.

Kingdon, J. 1974. East African Mammals. London: Academic Press.

Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, Sixth Edition. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Rautenbach, I., D. Schlitter, L. Braack. 1984. New Distributional Records of Bats for the Republic of South Africa, with Special Reference to the Kruger National Park. Koedoe, 27: 131-135.

Roberts, A. 1951. The Mammals of South Africa. Cape Town: Central News Agency of South Africa.

Rosevear, D. 1965. The Bats of West Africa. London: Trustees of the Brittish Museum (Natural History).

Smithers, R. 1983. The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion. Pretoria: University of Pretoria.