Rhinolophus smithersi, P. J. Taylor et al., 2012

Burgin, Connor, 2019, Rhinolophidae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 9 Bats, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 280-332 : 290

publication ID

https://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.3748525



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scientific name

Rhinolophus smithersi


20 View On . Smithers’s Horseshoe Bat

Rhinolophus smithersi View in CoL

French: Rhinolophe de Smithers / German: Smithers-Hufeisennase / Spanish: Herradura de Smithers

Taxonomy. Rhinolophus smithersi P. J. Taylor et al, 2012 View in CoL ,

Ngolangola Gorge at confluence with Lutope River, Sebungwe District, Gokwe Communal Land , NW Zimbabwe; 18° 17’05”S; 28° 05’ 00”E; elevation 1000 m asl.” GoogleMaps

Rhinolophus smithersi is in the fumigatus species group, with specimens previously included in R hildebrandtii , although recent genetic and morphological studies justified its specific status. Rhinolophus smithersi is in a clade including R hildebrandtii , R mabuensis , and R cohenae . Monotypic.

Distribution. Known only in NW Zimbabwe (Lutope-Ngolangola Gorge S of Zambezi Escarpment) and NE South Africa (Limpopo Province). Specific status ofsimilarly looking populations throughout the rest of southern Africa ( Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Botswana) has not been assessed, and additional sampling is needed. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head-body 73-81 mm, tail 35—37 mm, ear 32-35 mm, hindfoot 13- 15 mm, forearm 61-65 mm; weight 23-31 g. Smithers’s Horseshoe Bat is very similar to Hildebrandt’s Horseshoe Bat ( A hildebrandtii ), although it is distincdy smaller. Dorsal pelage is gray to grayish brown; venter is slighdy paler. There is no orange morph. Males lack axillary tufts. Ears are medium-long in length. Noseleaf has long subtriangular lancet, with straight or slighdy concave sides and rounded dp; connecting process is rounded and does not reach tip of sella; sella is moderately covered in longish hairs and has concave sides near base but parallel sides near broad and rounded top; and horseshoe is broad at 10-14 mm, covers muzzle, has lateral leaflets, and has deeply notched median emargination. Lower lip has one groove. Wings and uropatagium are dark grayish brown. Skull is robust and comparatively long, with robust zygomatic arches and zygomatic width much larger than mastoid width; nasal swellings are relatively high and longer than they are broad; frontal depression is weakly developed; and sagittal crest is well developed. Dental formula is 11/2, C 1/1, P 2/2, M 3/3 (x2) = 30; a lower premolar is apparently always absent. P2 is tiny and fully displaced labially, allowing C 1 and P4 to touch or almost touch, and P3 is absent, allowing P and P4 to touch. Chromosomal complement has 2n = 58 and FN = 60.

Habitat. Miombo savanna on Karoo sandstone, dominated by Brachystegia glaucescens (Fabaceae) and baobabs ( Adansonia digitata , Malvaceae ), where much of landscape has been converted to cotton fields in Zimbabwe. In South Africa, Smithers’s Horseshoe Bats can be found in diverse riparian woodland fringes along rivers.

Food and Feeding. Smithers’s Horseshoe Bat is insectivorous. It forages using perchhunting and slow hawking in or around dense vegetation and close to the ground. Fecal pellets primarily contained beetles and moths, but some flies were also found.

Breeding. Litter size of Smithers’s Horseshoe Bat is one.

Activity patterns. Smithers’s Horseshoe Bats are nocturnal, foraging throughout the night with short periods of rest in night roosts. Day roosts have not been found, but they are suspected to use sandstone cliff caves and hollowed out baobabs when available. Call shape is FM /CF/ FM, with F component of 44 46 kHz in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. Smithers’s Horseshoe Bat probably roosts in clusters, not touching one another.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Near Threatened on The IUCN ed List. Despite having a relatively wide distribution, Smithers’s Horseshoe Bat is currently known from few individuals and might be threatened by mining, habitat destruction, and climate change.

Bibliography. ACR (2018), Cotterill & Happold (2013c), Kaipf et al. (2015), Kearney et al. (2017), Stuart (2015), Taylor (2017), Taylor et al. (2012).













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