The Eastern Bentwing-bat has chocolate to reddish-brown fur on its back and slightly lighter coloured fur on its belly. It has a short snout and a high ‘domed’ head with short round ears. The wing membranes attach to the ankle, not to the base of the toe. The last bone of the third finger is much longer than the other finger-bones giving the “bent wing” appearance. It weighs up to 20 grams, has a head and body length of about 6 cm and a wingspan of 30 – 35 cm.
Eastern Bentwing-bats occur along the east and north-west coasts of Australia.
Habitat and ecology
- Caves are the primary roosting habitat, but also use derelict mines, storm-water tunnels, buildings and other man-made structures.
- Form discrete populations centred on a maternity cave that is used annually in spring and summer for the birth and rearing of young.
- Maternity caves have very specific temperature and humidity regimes.
- At other times of the year, populations disperse within about 300 km range of maternity caves.
- Cold caves are used for hibernation in southern Australia.
- Breeding or roosting colonies can number from 100 to 150,000 individuals.
- Hunt in forested areas, catching moths and other flying insects above the tree tops.