Rhinolophus inopsPhilippine forest horseshoe bat

Geographic Range

Philippine forest horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus inops) inhabit all of the Philippines except the Palawan Region. The range of Philippine forest horseshoe bats includes a wide variety of elevations and some protected areas. (Wilson and Reeder, 2005; Heaney, et al., 2010; Ong, et al., 2012; Wilson and Reeder, 2005)


Philippine forest horseshoe bats commonly inhabit primary lowland forests and mountainous forests. These bats are rarely seen in secondary forests. It is found from sea-level to 2250 m in elevation. (Heaney, et al., 2010; Heaney, 2006; Ong, et al., 2012)

  • Range elevation
    0 to 2250 m
    0.00 to 7381.89 ft

Physical Description

Philippine forest horseshoe bats are completely brown in color; the dorsal fur has rust colored tints and the ventral fur is paler. With a mass of 11 to 18 g, this bat is intermediate in size between related species the arcuate horseshoe bat and small rufous horseshoe bat. A medium sized Philippine forest horseshoe bat has a body length of 76 to 93 mm and a forearm length of 49 to 57 mm. As is true of all members of the family Rhinolophidae, these bats have a horseshoe shaped nasal leaf expansion that surrounds the nostrils. The horseshoe structure is composed of three parts. A lower piece covers the upper-lip and surrounds the nostrils. Above the nostrils is a lancet shaped appendage that protrudes outward. The final piece is known as the sella; it is located between the horseshoe and the lancet. The sella is flattened in the opposite direction to the lancet and the horseshoe (front to back). The nasal leaf is the same width as the muzzle. Rhinolophid ears are rather large (22 to 28 mm) and always lack a tragus. The eyes seem to be obstructed by the nasal leaves and are quite small. In Philippine forest horseshoe bats, the first toe contains 2 bones, while the others contain 3. (Heaney, et al., 2010; Hollister, 1913; Kunz and Fenton, 2003; Nowak, 1994; Nowak, 1999; Wimsatt, 1970)

Male and female rhinolophid bats are similar in appearance except that females have two teat like appendages that are not involved in mammary function. These “dummy teats” are found in the abdominal region along with two functional teats. Infant bats use these to hold on to their mother as she flies. (Nowak, 1994; Nowak, 1999)

The wings of rhinolophid bats are broad and have round ends. While roosting these bats wrap their wings around the body and have been compared to insect cocoons or dried fruit. (Nowak, 1994; Nowak, 1999)

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • sexes alike
  • Range mass
    11 to 18 g
    0.39 to 0.63 oz
  • Range length
    76 to 93 mm
    2.99 to 3.66 in


The mating system for Philippine forest horseshoe bats is unknown. Likewise, little is known about the mating systems of groups within Rhinolophidae. Some species appear to form small family groups, while some form colony structures. (Wund and Myers, 2009)

No behavioral data are available for Philippine forest horseshoe bats. In other horseshoe bats mating occurs either in autumn, with fertilization delayed until spring. Also for some mating occurs in early spring, with fertilization occurring right away. Since Philippine forest horseshoe bats live in a tropical region, it probably does not hibernate, and therefore could mate at either time. Philippine forest horseshoe bats give birth to a single young each season. Horseshoe bat typically have a 7 week gestation period followed by 1 to 2 months of lactation. (Heaney, et al., 2010; Nowak, 1994; Nowak, 1999)

  • Breeding interval
    Philippine forest horseshoe bats give birth once annually.
  • Breeding season
    The breeding season for Philippine forest horseshoe bat is not known.
  • Range number of offspring
    1 to 1

No information is available on parental investment in Philippine forest horseshoe bats. However, while female horseshoe bats must carry and nurse their young, males have not been observed providing any parental care. (Nowak, 1994; Nowak, 1999)

  • Parental Investment
  • female parental care
  • pre-weaning/fledging
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • female


Little is known about the longevity of Philippine forest horseshoe bats. However, Horseshoe bats rarely live longer than 6-7 years, however longer lifespans have been exhibited. (Nowak, 1999)


Little is known about the behavior of Philippine forest horseshoe bats. However, horseshoe bats roost mostly during the day in groups, which can vary in size from a few to a few thousand. Species in this genus can live in mixed sex groups, however some segregate creating maternal groups. Rhinolophid bats fly with a fluttering pattern and generally stay close to the ground. In order to eat, these bats frequently land on the ground. (Nowak, 1994; Nowak, 1999)

Home Range

Philippine forest horseshoe bats roost in caves, hollow trees and foliage. These bats generally maintain a regular hunting area as well. (Heaney, et al., 2010; Nowak, 1994; Nowak, 1999)

Communication and Perception

Horseshoe bats use echolocation calls that are projected from their nasal passages to navigate and locate prey, flying with their mouth closed as the sound is emitted from their nasal passages. The leaf structure may aid in sound modification. (Hollister, 1913; Nowak, 1994; Nowak, 1999)

Food Habits

Horseshoe bats hunt insects and spiders at night, using echolocation to locate their prey. These bats hunt within 6 m of the ground in a regular territory. The actual consumption of prey occurs either on the ground or at the roost sight. (Neuweiler, 2000; Nowak, 1994; Nowak, 1999)

  • Animal Foods
  • insects
  • terrestrial non-insect arthropods


Predators of Philippine forest horseshoe bats are not known, however the geographic range overlaps with 3 carnivores large enough to consume them. These include common palm civets, Malay civits, and leopard cats. (Heaney, et al., 2010)

  • Anti-predator Adaptations
  • cryptic

Ecosystem Roles

There are no documented ecosystem roles of Philippine forest horseshoe bats. However, they probably aid in the control and regulation of insect populations in the Philippines in light of their diet.

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Humans in the Philippines use bats as a source of food. Also insectivorous bats like the Philippine forest horseshoe bats aid in controlling the insect populations, which can be a nuisance for humans and animals (agriculture and wild). (Bat Conservation International, 2012; Ong, et al., 2012)

  • Positive Impacts
  • food
  • controls pest population

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

No economical concerns have been reported resulting from Philippine forest horseshoe bats. (Bat Conservation International, 2012; Nowak, 1999)

Conservation Status

Deforestation has affected the lowland populations of this species, but has not created a large threat due to the amount of remaining forest at higher elevations. (Ong, et al., 2012)


Kelsey Keller (author), Michigan State University, Barbara Lundrigan (editor), Michigan State University, Laura Podzikowski (editor), Special Projects.



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


having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.


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


A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.


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.

island endemic

animals that live only on an island or set of islands.


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).


having the capacity to move from one place to another.


This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.

native range

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


active during the night


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

World Map

seasonal breeding

breeding is confined to a particular season


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


associates with others of its species; forms social groups.


uses touch to communicate


Living on the ground.


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


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


Bat Conservation International, 2012. "What We Do /Bats of the Philippines" (On-line). Bat Conservation International. Accessed March 12, 2012 at http://www.batcon.org/.

Heaney, L. 2006. The mammals and Birds of Camiguin Island, Philippines, a Distinct Center of Biodiversity. Fieldiana, Zoology, 1537: 37-38.

Heaney, L., M. Dolar, D. Balete, J. Esselstyn, E. Rickart, J. Sedlock. 2010. "The Field Museum of Natural History" (On-line). Synopsis of Philippine Mammals. Accessed April 16, 2012 at http://archive.fieldmuseum.org/philippine_mammals/.

Hollister, N. 1913. A review of Philippine land mammals in the United States National Museum. Washington Discrtic of Columbia: Washington Government Printing office.

Kunz, T., M. Fenton. 2003. Bat Ecology. Chicago and London: The Univeristy of Chicago Press.

Neuweiler, G. 2000. The Biology of Bats. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, Inc..

Nowak, R. 1994. Walker's Bats of the World. Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

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

Ong, P., G. Rosell-Ambal, B. Tabaranza, L. Heaney, J. Sedlock, P. Alviola, E. Alcala, L. Pangunlatan, D. Balete. 2012. "Rhinolophus inops" (On-line). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Accessed March 12, 2012 at http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/19545/0.

Wilson, D., D. Reeder. 2005. "Rhinolophus inops" (On-line). Wilson and Reeder's Mammal Species of the World Third Edition. Accessed March 12, 2012 at http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3/browse.asp?s=y&id=13800563.

Wimsatt, W. 1970. Biology of Bats. New York, New York: Academic Press, Inc..

Wund, M., P. Myers. 2009. "Rhinolophidae" (On-line). Animal Diversity Webpage. Accessed October 12, 2012 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Rhinolophidae/.