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Natural History of the Mammalia of India and Ceylon - by Robert A. Sterndale F.R.G.S., F.Z.S. (1884)
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Nasal-leaf broad, depressed, transverse; ears with transverse wrinkles; a circular sac behind the nasal crest, which can be turned inside out; when alarmed the animal blows it out, and then withdraws it at each breath; it contains a waxy matter of green or yellow colour. Blyth thinks that this sac is affected by the amorous season, as in the case of the infra-orbital cavities of various ruminants and analogous glandular follicles in other animals.

This genus is also distinguishable from the last by the form of the ear conch, the small size of the anti-tragus, and, as Dr. Dobson particularly points out, by the presence of two joints only in all the toes, as also by the number and character of the teeth, which are as follows:—

Inc., 2/4; can., 1—1/1—1; premolars, 2—2/2—2; molars, 3—3/3—3.

54. HIPPOSIDEROS ARMIGER, The Large Horse-shoe Bat (Jerdon's No. 25).

HABITAT.—Lower Himalaya ranges; Ceylon.

DESCRIPTION.—Nasal-leaf large and square; lips with a triple fold of skin on each side; tragus vaguely developed and wavily emarginate; of a uniform light-brown colour, with maroon tips to the hairs of the upper parts; membranes black.

SIZE.—Head and body, 4½ inches; tail, 2½; wing expanse, 22.

Jerdon makes this out to be the same as Kellaart's H. lankadiva and the Malayan H. nobilis, but those are synonymous with Phyllorhina diadema. Kellaart supposed it to be identical with H. insignis, which will be found further on as Phyllorhina larvata, all those bats closely resembling each other in a general way. I think this No. 25 of Jerdon is the same as Peter's Phyllorhina armigera. Hutton found it at Darjeeling, and writes of it as follows:—

"When captured alive the large ears are kept in a constant state of rapid tremulous motion, and the animal emits a low purring sound, which becomes a sharp scream when alarmed or irritated. When suspended at rest the tail and inter-femoral membrane are turned up, not in front, like the Rhinolophi, but behind, over the lower part of the back; neither does it appear to envelope itself in its wings so completely as does R. luctus." He then goes on to say he has noticed the tremor of the ears and facial crests in all the Rhinolophi when disturbed, and concludes with a graphic description of this species, sallying forth in the evening to prey upon the noisy Cicadas; leisurely wheeling with noiseless, cautious flight round some wide-spreading oak, "scanning each branch as he slowly passes by—now rising to a higher circle, and then perchance descending to the lower branches, until at length, detecting the unfortunate minstrel, it darts suddenly into the tree, and snatching the still screaming insect from its perch, bears it away."

Jerdon procured specimens at Darjeeling, and Kellaart says it is found in great abundance at Kandy and its neighbourhood; Kurnegalle Tunnel swarms with them.

55. HIPPOSIDEROS SPEORIS, The Indian Horse-shoe Bat (Jerdon's No. 26).

HABITAT.—India generally and Ceylon.

DESCRIPTION.—Mouse brown or fulvous brown. Occasionally golden fulvous and sometimes dusky black above, paler beneath; membranes dusky brown; interfemoral membrane narrow, enclosing the tail except the last half joint (about 2-10ths of an inch), which is free.

Ear large, erect and pointed, rounded at the base and emarginated on the outer edge; nasal process complicated. "Males have a frontal sac; females none" (Kellaart). Pubis naked, with two inguinal warts.

SIZE.—Head and body, 2 inches; tail, 1-2/10; wing expanse, 12.

Inhabits old buildings, wells, &c.

56. HIPPOSIDEROS MURINUS, The Little Horse-shoe Bat (Jerdon's No. 27).

HABITAT.—Southern India, Ceylon, and Burmah.

DESCRIPTION.—Muzzle short; body short and thick; a transverse frontal leaf with a sac behind it; no folds of skin on each side of the horse-shoe as in the last species; ears large, naked and rounded; colour dusky brown or mouse, sometimes light fawn; wing membrane blackish; interfemoral membrane large, and including the tail all but the tip.

SIZE.—Head and body, 1-4/5 inch; tail, 1-1/5 inch; wing expanse, 10.

Jerdon says the mouse-coloured variety is common in the Carnatic, but he has only seen the light fulvous race on the Nilgheries; but Mr. Elliot procured both in the southern Mahratta country. A dark variety of this bat was called Rhinolophus ater by Templeton, and H. atratus by Kellaart; in other respects it is identical, only a little smaller.

57. HIPPOSIDEROS CINERACEUS, The Ashy Horse-shoe Bat (Jerdon's No. 28).

HABITAT.—Punjab Salt range.

DESCRIPTION.—Similar to the last, but larger, and I should think the argument against H. atratus would apply to this as a distinct species.



DESCRIPTION.—The fur of the upper part bright fulvous; more or less tinged with maroon on the back, lighter underneath; membranes dusky, but tinged with the prevailing colour of the fur; ears angulated; a minute false molar in front of the carnassial in the upper jaw.

SIZE.—Head and body, 2¾ inches; tail, 1¼; wing extent, 12.

Kellaart writes of this bat under his H. aureus. He describes it as head, neck, and body of a bright golden yellow, with a slight maroon shade on the tips of the hairs on the back. Females paler coloured. Frontal sac only in males; the waxy matter of a yellow colour, and quite transparent.


HABITAT.—Arracan and Malayana.

DESCRIPTION.—"It differs from the last in being rather smaller, and of a brown colour above, much paler at the base of the hairs and at their extreme tips, and lighter coloured below; the ears more apiculated, or rather they appear so from being strongly emarginated externally towards the tip."—Blyth.

SIZE.—2-3/10 inches; tail 1-2/10; wing expanse about 12.


HABITAT.—Ceylon, Fort Frederic.

DESCRIPTION.—Above surface colour a rich dark tawny brown; base of hairs much lighter coloured, of a brighter yellow tinge; beneath paler; face partially blackish; ears black; tip of tail excerted; no frontal sac; membranes blackish; nasal processes as in H. speoris.

SIZE.—Head and body, 2-2/10 inches; tail, 1; wing expanse, 12.

Dr. Kellaart considered this a new and undescribed species, distinguished from H. speoris and H. vulgaris (vel Templetonii—Kellaart) by the greater length of the fore-arm, which is two inches. This remark however does not apply to vulgaris, of which Kellaart himself gives two inches as the length of the radius, and Blyth gives two and a quarter. The absence of the frontal sac would have been a greater proof, but both specimens on which Kellaart made his observations were females; and as colouring is so varied in the bat tribe as to preclude the division of species on this ground, I think we may put this down as a doubtful species on which more information is desirable.

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