Lesser Horseshoe Bat
(Rhinolophus hipposideros) #62-127

Picture of the animal

Distribution map

Whole brain image

Whole brain photographs
• Special views
• Rotating brain cast

Brain section image

Coronal section through middle of brain
• Movie Atlas
• Picture Atlas

Physical characteristics and distribution

Head 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.

Rhinolophus hipposideros forages for insects in small groups. Large 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.

Rhinolophus 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.

Description of the brain

Animal source and preparation
All specimens collected followed the same preparation and histological procedure.

Other Related Resources (websites and publications)

List of Specimens | Explore Collections | Brain Sections | Brain Evolution | Brain Development | Brain Circuitry | Brain Functions | Location and Use | Related Web Sites | Contact Us | Search MSU Database | Personnel | Home