New Zealand short-tailed bat
One of the two native mammals of New Zealand (both bats), this bat has evolved to be able to forage for invertebrates on the ground, as well as in the air.
6cm long with a 1.8cm tail, a forearm length of 4-4.6cm and weighing 13-22g.
A small bat with velvety brown-grey fur and large, simple ears. The thumb and toe claws have an extra talon, which is unique in bats. The wings can be held tightly against the body.
New Zealand and some of its offshore islands.
Insects, terrestrial invertebrates, nectar, pollen and fruit. The bat has a relationship with the Hades flower (Dactylanthus taylorii) which produces nectar on the forest floor, and is pollinated in return by the bats.
Having evolved in New Zealand, which until the arrival of humans had no native mammals other than bats, the New Zealand short-tailed bats became adept on the ground, feeding on terrestrial invertebrates. They still catch prey in the air using echolocation, but also listen for prey movements and use their sense of smell to find them on the ground. Being nocturnal, the bats roost in large numbers in tree holes during the day.
Males 'sing' at aggregations of tree roosts to attract females.