and body length is about 35-110 mm, tail length is 15-56
mm, and weights range from 4 to 10 grams. Color varies
widely from reddish brown to deep black above and paler
below. Horseshoe bats get their name from the leaflike
structure of skin around the nose which forms a horseshoe
around the mouth. When flying, they keep their mouths
closed while emitting ultrasonic sound through the nostrils.
They occur in both forested and unforested habitats
throughout the temperate and tropical zones of the Old
World. They are found at high and low altitudes and
will roost in caves, buildings, foliage and hollow trees.
Mating occurs during the fall, but ovulation and fertilization
are delayed until spring. Gestation takes about 7 weeks
and a single young is produced in late spring. Females
have two functioning mammae and two "dummy teats" which
the infant may clasp while being transported by its
mother. Sexual maturity occurs by 2 years of age. When
roosting, this species wraps itself with its wings.
The broad wings have rounded ends and the flight pattern
resembles that of a butterfly.
hipposideros forages for insects in small groups.
insects may be tucked into the wing membrane under the
arm while the bat manipulates it with its mouth. Insects
and spiders are the main food source.
hipposideros is declining
rapidly due to habitat pressures including disturbance,
vandalism and practices resulting in a loss of large
prey insects. The distribution of Rhinolophus
hipposideros ranges from Ireland,
N Europe to Iberia and Morocco, through S Europe and
N Africa to Kyrgystan and Kashmir; Bulgaria; Israel
and Jordan; Arabia; Sudan; Ethiopia; Djibouti. Records
at some localities in N Europe (e.g., the Netherlands)
apparently relfect temporary northern range extensions.