Species richness in an insectivorous bat assemblage from Malaysia

Tigga Kingston, Charles M. Francis, Zubaid Akbar, Thomas H. Kunz

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108 Scopus citations


Estimates of insectivorous bat diversity in the Palaeotropics have largely been hampered by the lack of long-term studies employing appropriate capture techniques. Using a variety of trapping methods, 45 insectivorous bat species were captured in approximately 3 km2 of primary dipterocarp rain forest in Malaysia over 8 y. The cumulative site list for Kuala Lompat Research Station, Krau Wildlife Reserve, now stands at 51 insectivorous species. Although this is likely still not a complete list, it is already one of the most species-rich in the world. We attribute much of our success in recording this diversity to the extensive use of harp traps. Of the 45 species, 38 were captured in an intensive harp-trapping programme (> 1030 harp-trap nights) of the forest interior (22 species exclusively so). Insectivorous bats of the forest interior are thus a key component of Old World bat diversity, particularly in South-East Asia, and are dominated by taxa capable of detecting and capturing prey in cluttered environments (Hipposideridae, Rhinolophidae, Kerivoulinae and Murininae).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-79
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Tropical Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003


  • Chiroptera
  • Hipposideridae
  • Kerivoulinae Murininae
  • Rhinolophidae
  • Species abundance
  • Species diversity


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