SUMMARY: Rhinopomatidae
Common Name
: Mouse-tailed Bats, or Long-tailed Bats
Taxonomy: single genus, Rhinopoma, containing 3 species
Distribution: restricted to Northern Africa, Middle East, India and Sumatra. Mouse-tailed bats are usually found in treeless and arid regions
Fossil Record:
Size Range: Head and body length range from 53 - 90 mm, tail length 43 - 75 mm, and forearm length ranges from 45 - 75 mm. The adult weight ranges from 6 - 14 g.
R. microphyllum, R. hardwickei, R. muscatellum

Fur is lacking on the face, rump, and posterior portion of the abdomen. The colouration is grayish brown or dark brown above and usually paler below. The tail of these bats is unique to the Microchiroptera. The tail is nearly as long as the head and body combined. The tail membrane is short, with most of the tail extending beyond the membrane.

The ears are long and wide, connected by a band of skin across the forehead, with a well developed tragus. A small leaf-nose is found on the snout.

The bats usually roost in caves, rock clefts, wells, pyramids, palaces, and houses.
R. microphyllum has inhabited Egyptian pyramids for over 3,000 years. The bats often hang by the thumbs as well as the feet.

Roosting colonies many number in the hundreds of thousands, while
R. hardwickei may roost solitary or in small groups (4 - 10 individuals).

The family hibernates or use torpor to avoid the cold/dry season and the associated insect scarcity. Stores of fat equalling the normal weight of individuals can accumulate before the harsher season. Bats of the family tend to be monoestrous, with no sperm storage. Gestation is long, at least 123 days.

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