Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 July 2019 | 11(9): 14216–14219



First record of the Small Bamboo Bat Tylonycteris fulvida (Peters, 1872) (Mammalia: Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from Nepal


 Basant Sharma 1, Anoj Subedi 2, Bandana Subedi 3, Shristee Panthee 4 &  Pushpa Raj Acharya 5


1,4 Bat Friends Pokhara, Hariyokharka-15 Pokhara, Kaski, Nepal.

1,5 Nepal Bat Research and Conservation Union (NeBRCU), Batulechour-16 Pokhara, Kaski, Nepal.

1–4 Tribhuvan University, Institute of Forestry, Hariyokharka-15 Pokhara, Kaski, Nepal.

5 Central Campus of Science and Technology, Faculty of Science, Mid-western University, Birendranagar, Surkhet, Nepal.

1 (corresponding author), 2, 3, 4, 5




doi:  |  ZooBank:


Editor: Paul Racey, University of Exeter, UK.    Date of publication: 26 July 2019 (online & print)


Manuscript details: #4502 | Received 22 August 2018 | Final received 30 June 2019 | Finally accepted 05 July 2019


Citation: Sharma, B., A. Subedi, B. Subedi, S. Panthee & P.R. Acharya (2019). First record of the Small Bamboo Bat Tylonycteris fulvida (Peters, 1872) (Mammalia: Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from Nepal. Journal of Threatened Taxa 11(9): 14216–14219.


Copyright: © Sharma et al. 2019. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  JoTT allows unrestricted use, reproduction, and distribution of this article in any medium by adequate credit to the author(s) and the source of publication.


Funding: Rufford Foundation, UK.


Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the Rufford Foundation UK for proving grant support for the project.  We would like to express our sincere thanks to Joe Chun-Chia Huang for confirming the identity of the species and for their valuable suggestions.  We are also grateful to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC Nepal) and Department of Forests (DOF Nepal) for providing permission to carry out trapping survey in the area.




Abstract: A bamboo bat of the genus Tylonycteris was captured near Gupteshore Cave of Kushma in Parbat, Nepal.  Traditionally, two species of Tylonycteris (of T. pachypus complex and T. robustula complex) are known from the Indian subcontinent.  Due to inconsistency in taxonomic classification, several changes were recently made within the genus Tylonycteris—T. pachypus was corrected to T. fulvida and T. robustula to T. malayana.  The occurrence of Tylonycteris from Nepal’s diversified zoogeography, however, was never mentioned.  This note provides a new record of Tylonycteris from Nepal.  Based on morphological characteristics and species distribution range, this note confirms the captured species as T. fulvida.          


Keywords: Gupteshore Cave, Kushma, new record, Parbat, Tylonycteris.




A total of 128 species of bats are reported from the Indian subcontinent, including 115 species of yangochiropterans and 13 species of  yinpterochiropterans (Srinivasulu et al. 2010).  Nepal records 53 species of bats within the families Pteropodidae (5), Rhinolophidae (9), Hipposideridae (4), Megadermatidae (1), Emballonuridae (1), Vespertilionidae (31), and Miniopteridae (2) (Acharya et al. 2010).  The reported number of species represents the bat diversity of about 5% of the world and over 40% of southern Asia.  Among these, two species are categorized as Critically Endangered, one as Endangered, two as Vulnerable, four as Near Threatened, 25 as Least Concern, and 19 as Data Deficient in the National Red List (Jnawali et al. 2011).  Vespertilionidae is the most species-rich family with 58.5% of bat species from Nepal within 15 genera.  Myotis (7) is the most species-rich genus within this family, followed by Murina (3) and Pipistrellus (3).  There has been, however, no previous evidence of the genus Tylonycteris in Nepal. 

Traditionally, Tylonycteris was classified as containing only two species: T. pachypus (Temminck, 1840) and T. robustula (Thomas, 1915).  Several other taxa were included as subspecies within these two species groups (Simmons 2005).  Later, Feng et al. (2008) described a third species, T. pygmaea (Feng, Li & Wang 2008), which is smaller than its congeners.  It is endemic to the Yunnan Province in southern China, while the former two species have much more extensive geographic ranges that greatly overlap in southeastern Asia (Tu et al. 2017).  Due to inconsistency in taxonomic classification, Tu et al. (2017) recently revalidated several changes within TylonycterisT. pachypus was corrected to T. fulvida (Blyth, 1859) and T. robustula to T. malayana (Chasen, 1940).  

Both T. fulvida and T. malayana were previously recorded from the Indian subcontinent (Bates & Harrison 1997).  Tylonycteris fulvida occurs in southern and northeastern South Asia, southern China, and much of southeastern Asia (Bates et al. 2008a).  In southern Asia, this species is widely distributed in and known from India (Andaman Islands, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura, and West Bengal) (Molur et al. 2002; Das 2003) and Bangladesh (Khan 2001; Srinivasulu & Srinivasulu 2005).  Tylonycteris malayana ranges from northeastern India through parts of southern China to much of mainland and insular southeastern Asia (Bates et al. 2008b).  In southern Asia, this species is only recorded from Mizoram and Andaman Islands in India (Molur et al. 2002; Srinivasulu et al. 2018).  Both these species are listed as Least Concern in IUCN Red List (Bates et al. 2008a,b).

The study was conducted near the Gupeteshore Cave of Kushma (headquarters of Parbat District) during the field expedition of “Bats survey and conservation outreach programs along Kaligandaki Canyon of Nepal” funded by the Rufford Foundation (UK) in 2017.  The cave is situated in steep slope pasture land with a small grove of trees forming a forest-like patch just above the cave structure, where trapping was conducted.  The trapping area is dominated by Dalbergia sissoo and clusters of Bambusa sp.

Two mist nets (height 2.6m, lengths 4m & 6m, 38mm mesh) were deployed to capture the bats 30cm above the ground.  Mist nets were left open from 18.00h to 21.00h and continuously checked at 10-minute intervals to reduce entanglement of the trapped bats.  External morphometric measurements of the trapped bats were taken using vernier callipers (0.01mm accuracy).  The measurements taken include head and body length (HB), forearm length (FA), ear length (EL), tail length (TL), hind foot length (HF), tibia length (TIB), 3rd metacarpal and phalanges length (3mt, 1ph3mt, 2ph3mt), 4th metacarpal and phalanges length (4mt, 1ph4mt, 2ph4mt), and 5th metacarpal and phalanges length (5mt, 1ph5mt, 2ph5mt).  Body fur and other special features were noted.  Body weight (BW) was measured using a Pesola spring balance (1gm accuracy). 

A single male specimen of Tylonycteris sp. was caught in the mist net located at 28.2260N &  83.6740E at an elevation of 868m on 27 April 2018 at 19.30h (two hours after sunset).  The morphometric measurements are given in Table 1.  The recorded location of Tylonycteris sp. is given in Fig. 1.  The bat was released after images were taken.  It was identified by referring to Bates & Harrison (1997) and consultation with experts in the field.

We identified the bat on the basis of its morphological characteristics: 1) shape of head, 2) circular pads on the base of thumb, 3) pad on the sole of the hindfoot, 4) lengths of 3rd, 4th, and 5th metacarpal, and 5) pelage colouration.  Tylonycteris is a minute bat.  Its head was characteristically flattened with the nostrils projecting forward and slightly downwards (Image 1).  The fleshy pads at the base of the thumb and on the sole of the hindfoot were the most striking features of Tylonycteris (Image 1).  The wings were short with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th metacarpals about equal in length (Table 1).  The dorsal pelage was thick, short, and golden-brown, except for the muzzle which was darker, while the ventral pelage was not so dense and was paler (Image 1).

The wide distribution of T. fulvida along southern Asia, recorded at the closest location from Nepal, i.e., in India at Sikkim and Darjeeling of West Bengal (near the border of Nepal and India), body size, and distinguishing pelage colouration strongly suggest the captured bat to be T. fulvida rather than T. malayana, as the latter has no further record from southern Asia except from Mizoram (at the border of India and Myanmar) and the Andaman Islands in India (Molur et al. 2002; Srinivasulu et al. 2018).  Additionally, the pelage colouration in T. malayana is uniformly grey-brown dorsally (as opposed to that of the captured bat) and slightly paler ventrally (Bates & Harrison 1997; Srinivasulu et al. 2018).  With this note, we confirm the presence of T. fulvida in Nepal, highlighting the first record for the country.



Table 1. Morphometric measurements of Tylonycteris sp. captured Gupteshore Cave at Kushma in Parbat, Nepal, compared with that of T. fulvida and T. malayana.


Measurements (mm) (captured bat)

Bates & Harrison (1997)

T. fulvida


T. malayana (range)





























































BW (gm)






For figure & image  - - click here





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