The Ghost Bat (Macroderma gigas) found in the northern parts of Australia, are the world’s largest carnivorous bat. Three isolated populations of the Ghost Bats have been documented that include Queensland, Top End of the Northern Territory and Western Australia (in the northern Pilbara and Kimberley regions). However with the arrival of the Cane Toads, it appears that their decline has increased.
It is also the only species of Australian bats that prey on large vertebrates such as large insects, frogs, reptiles, birds and other small mammals. An ambush predator, they use there acute sight and hearing, that is combined with echolocation to locate and catch their prey.
Images © CK Leel
Once roosting in large colonies in caves, deep cracks in rocks and old mine tunnels, since white settlements, the range of the ghost bats have been greatly reduced, as their roosting sites are disturbed and destroyed. This being further exacerbated by the clearing of their habitat and land degradation from agriculture.
- Scientific classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Clade: Scrotifera
- Order: Chiroptera
Images © Ausemade Pty Ltd
Footnote & References
- Ghost bat, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_bat (last visited May 22, 2021).
- Ghost Bat images of Macroderma gigas taken at the Alice Springs Desert Park, Ausemade Pty Ltd