SUMMARY: Rhinolophidae
Common Name
: Horseshoe Bats
Taxonomy: 1 genus with 69 species
Distribution: Old World, from Europe and Africa, to Japan, Philippines, and Australia
Fossil Record: middle Eocene to Recent in Europe, and Recent in other occupied regions
Size Range: head and body length range from 35 - 110 mm, tail length 15 - 56 mm, and forearm length from 30 - 75 mm.
Rhinolophidae was recently separated completely from Family Hipposideridae.

Rhinolopids are found in both temperate and tropical regions, in a great variety of forested and non-forested habitats.

The complex, nose-leaf expansion of skin surrounding the nose, composed of three parts is characteristic of the family. The lower part of the nose is horseshoe shaped, covering the upper lip and surrounding the nostrils, with a notch in the middle of the lower edge. Above the nostrils, the horseshoe merges with an erect, triangular, pocketed structure called the lancet. The third portion of the nose is the sella, a flat structure which rises from behind the nostrils and is positioned erect in the middle of the leaf nose. The complex nose is thought to be associated with beaming or directing high frequency echolocation signals.

The bats generally fly with their mouth closed, and emit sound through their nostrils. Large, highly mobile ears, with no tragus and broad wings are also typical of the Horseshoe bats.

The horseshoe bats can be distinguished from their close relatives, in the family Hipposideridae by the nose-leaf. The Hipposiderids lack a definite lancet, and have no structure similar to the sella.

Both roosting habitats and social interaction is very variable in the group. Rhinolophids have been found roosting in caves, hollow trees, foliage, or occasionally in buildings. Some species congregate into large colonies, while others are solitary.

The Rhinolophids are generally insectivorous, preying on insects and arthropods such as spiders.

In temperate species, mating occurs in the fall, with delayed fertilization or ovulation depending on the species, till spring.

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