A new record of Kerivoula hardwickii (Horsefield, 1824) (Mammalia: Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) after 23 years from a lowland rainforests of Sri Lanka

Main Article Content

Dinesh Gabadage
Gayan Edirisinghe
Madhava Botejue
Kalika Perera
Thilina Surasinghe
Suranjan Karunarathna


Distribution of Kerivoula hardwickii, Hardwicke's woolly bat, in Sri Lanka is restricted to the central highlands and to northeastern region of the country, and so far, only recorded from four distinct locations. In Sri Lanka, this species was last documented in the year 1994, and no subsequent surveys recorded this species in Sri Lanka, thus considered rare in Sri Lanka. In contrast, within its southern Asian biogeography, K. hardwickii is widely distributed, particularly in Southeastern Asia. In this study, a single male of K. hardwickii was observed in lowland rainforest ecoregion of Sri Lanka near Labugama-Kalatuwana Forest Reserve where the bat was roosting on a curled live banana frond. The bat was roosting 1.8 m above the ground. This was the first instance K. hardwickii was recorded in the lowland rainforests of Sri Lanka, which extends this species’ biogeography of Sri Lanka into the lowland wet zone. Thus, distribution range of K. hardwickii in Sri Lanka could be broader than historically documented. However, intensive surveys, particularly in lowland rainforest region, are required to validate the true distribution of this bat in Sri Lanka.

Article Details

Short Communications
Author Biography

Suranjan Karunarathna, University of Colombo

Suranjan Karunarathna did his Mater degree from the University of Colombo. His scientific exploration of biodiversity began with Young Zoologists’ Association of Sri Lanka in early 2000 and former president in 2007. As a wildlife researcher he is conducts research on herpetofaunal ecology, taxonomy, and promot­ing science base conservation awareness of the importance of biodiversity among the Sri Lankan community. Also he is an active member of many specialist groups in the IUCN/SSC, and expert committee member of Herpetofauna in National Red List development programs, Sri Lanka.


Bates, P.J. & D.L. Harrison (1997). Bats of the Indian Subcontinent. Harrison Zoological Museum publication, Kent, United Kingdom, 258pp.

Bauer, U., T.U. Grafe & W. Federle (2011). Evidence for alternative trapping strategies in two forms of the pitcher plant, Nepenthes rafflesiana. Journal of Experimental Botany 62(10): 3683–3692.

DWC (2007a). Biodiversity Baseline Survey: Wasgomuwa National Park. Department of Wildlife Conservation, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 49pp.

DWC (2007b). Biodiversity Baseline Survey: Ritigala Strict Natural Reserve. Department of Wildlife Conservation, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 41pp.

DWC (2008a). Biodiversity Baseline Survey: Peak Wilderness Sanctuary. Department of Wildlife Conservation, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 44pp.

DWC (2008b). Biodiversity Baseline Survey: Minneriya National Park. Department of Wildlife Conservation, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 46pp.

Edirisinghe, G., T. Surasinghe, D. Gabadage, M. Botejue, K. Perera, M. Madawala, D. Weerakoon & S. Karunarathna (2018). Chiropteran diversity in the peripheral areas of the Maduru–Oya National Park in Sri Lanka: insights for conservation and management. Zookeys 784: 139–162; https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.784.25562

Francis, C.M. (2008). A Field Guide to the Mammals of Southeast Asia. Princeton University Press Princeton, New Jersey, 392pp.

Grafe, T.U., C.R. Schöner, G. Kerth, A. Junaidi & M.G. Schöner (2011). A novel resource-service mutualism between bats and pitcher plants. Biology Letters 7(3): 436–439.

Kusuminda, T.T., G.W. Edirisinghe, R.P. Nanayakkara & N. Vishvanath (2013). Diversity and Population status of Bats in Pilikuttuwa ancient cave temple in the Gampaha District, Sri Lanka. Asian Journal of Conservation Biology 2(2): 136–143.

Leowinta, D. & V. Luk (2016). Return to Sri Lanka. ROM Magazine 48(3): 20–23.

Menon, V. (2003). A Field Guide to Indian Mammals. Hachette Book Publishing, Gurgaon, India, 528pp.

Ministry of Environment (2012). The National Red List 2012 of Sri Lanka; Conservation Status of the Fauna and Flora. Biodiversity Secretariat, Ministry of Environment, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sr Lanka, 476pp.

Molur, S., G. Marimuthu, C. Srinivasulu, S. Mistry, A.M. Hutson, P.J.J. Bates, S. Walker, K. Padmapriya & A.R. Binupriya (2002). Status of South Asian Chiroptera. Conservation Assessment and Management Plan (C.A.M.P.) Workshop Report. Zoo Outreach Organization/CBSG-South Asia, Coimbatore, India, 320pp.

Phillips, W.W.A (1932). Additional to the fauna of Ceylon - part II. Some new and interesting bats from the hills of the Central Province. Spolia Zeylanica 16(1): 329–335.

Phillips, W.W.A (1935). A manual of the mammals of Ceylon. Ceylon Journal of Science 10(1): 1–373.

Phillips, W.W.A. (1980). Manual of the Mammals of Sri Lanka. Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 116pp.

Rosell-Ambal, G., B. Tabaranza, L. Heaney, S. Molur & C. Srinivasulu (2008). Kerivoula hardwickii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T10974A3233035. Downloaded on 20 February 2018


Rubsamen, R., M. Eckrich & H. Costa (2004). Cave dwelling bats in Sri Lanka. Spolia Zeylanica 41: 102–106.

Slade, N. (2017). KUBI Mammalogy Collection. Version 26.6. University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute.

Smith, A.T. & Y. Xie (2008). A Guide to the Mammals of China. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 576pp.

Srinivasulu, C., P.A. Racey & S. Mistry (2010). A key to the bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) of South Asia. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(7): 1001–1076; https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o2352.1001-76

Yapa, A. & G. Ratnavira (2013). The Mammals of Sri Lanka. Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka, Department of Zoology, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1009pp.

Yapa, W. (2017). A Field Guide to the Bats of Sri Lanka. Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company PLC, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 142pp.

Yapa, W.B. & W.D. Ratnasooriya (2012). Ecology and Biology of Sri Lankan Bats. University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka. A report submitted to National Science Foundation, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 28pp.

Yapa, W., W. Ratnasooriya, H. Costa & R. Rübsamen (2005). Inflight and outflight activity patterns of five species of cave dwelling bats in Sri Lanka. Journal of Science University of Kelaniya 2: 41–62.