SUMMARY: Nycteridae
Common Name
: Slit-faced or Hollow-faced Bats
Taxonomy: Infraorder Yinochiroptera, Superfamily Rhinolophoidea, genus Nycteris, 13 species
Distribution: Madagascar, Africa, the western Arabian peninsula, the Malay Peninsula, and parts of Indonesia including Sumatra, Java, and Borneo (Old World)
Fossil Record:
Size Range: Head - body length 40 - 93 mm, forearm length 32 - 60 mm, tail length 43 - 75 mm, 6 - 30 g
Long, loose pelage - rich brown to pale brown or greyish.
N. macrotis of Zaire has variable orange colouration, N. nana has been found in albino form.

Large ears (longer than head) joined at base, small tragus.

Very small eyes, nostrils lie within a deep longitudinal groove in the front of the face, this groove is concealed by nose leaves. Skull shows a depression between the eye sockets which is connected to the outside by the slit in the facial skin. It is thought that this depression is used to send out the ultrasonic pulses associated with echolocation. Long tail completely enclosed in uropatagium. Last joint of the tail is T-shaped and supports the hind edge of the uropatagium.

Dental formula i2/3, c1/1, pm 1/2, m3/3 = 32. Lower lip has granular surface at the tip.

Primitive shoulder and elbow joint, but broad wings. Manoeuvrable fliers.

Inhabit tropical forests and savannah areas.

Feed largely on arthropods picked from vegetation or the ground, orthopterans, spiders, and scorpions form an important part of their diet; some flying insects (butterflies and moths).
Nycteris grandis is carnivorous feeding on fish, amphibians, birds, bats, and insects.

Roost in hollow trees, dense foliage, rocky outcrops, caves, buildings, ruins, culverts, abandoned wells, and porcupine and aardvark burrows. Most shelter alone, in pairs, or in small family groups.

(from the books "Bats - A Natural History" and from "Walker's Bats of the World")