A small to medium-sized bat with long, prominent ears and glossy black fur. The lower body has broad white fringes running under the wings and tail-membrane, meeting in a V-shape in the pubic area. This species is one of the wattled bats, with small lobes of skin between the ears and corner of the mouth.


Found mainly in areas with extensive cliffs and caves, from Rockhampton in Queensland south to Bungonia in the NSW Southern Highlands. It is generally rare with a very patchy distribution in NSW. There are scattered records from the New England Tablelands and North West Slopes.

Habitat and ecology

  • Roosts in caves (near their entrances), crevices in cliffs, old mine workings and in the disused, bottle-shaped mud nests of the Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel), frequenting low to mid-elevation dry open forest and woodland close to these features. Females have been recorded raising young in maternity roosts (c. 20-40 females) from November through to January in roof domes in sandstone caves and overhangs. They remain loyal to the same cave over many years.
  • Found in well-timbered areas containing gullies.
  • The relatively short, broad wing combined with the low weight per unit area of wing indicates manoeuvrable flight. This species probably forages for small, flying insects below the forest canopy.
  • Likely to hibernate through the coolest months.
  • It is uncertain whether mating occurs early in winter or in spring.
We acknowledge and thank the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage for the provision of threatened species information in this website.
Image by Doug Beckers – Flickr: Large-eared Pied Bat, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14796519
For more information:
NSW Office of Environment & Heritage