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Evening bat

Evening bats (family Vespertilionidae) are the largest and best-known family of bats. They belong to the suborder Microchiroptera (microbats).There are 300 species distributed all over the world, many of them native to Europe and North America. Sometimes the family is called "common bats".

All evening bats are insect-eaters. They rely mainly on echolocation, but they lack the enlarged noses, which some microbats have in order to improve the ultrasound beam. In compensation many species have large ears. Evening bats are 3 to 13 cm long.


Five subfamilies are recognized:

  • Subfamily Vespertilioninae
    1. Genus Cistugo (wing-gland bats)
    2. Genus Eudiscopus (disk-footed bats)
    3. Genus Pipistrellus (pipistrelles)
    4. Genus Scotozous (Dormer's bats)
    5. Genus Nyctalus (noctule bats)
    6. Genus Glischropus (thick-thumbed bats)
    7. Genus Eptesicus (house bats)
    8. Genus Ia (great evening bats)
    9. Genus Vespertilio (frosted bats)
    10. Genus Laephotis
    11. Genus Histiotus (big-eared brown bats)
    12. Genus Philetor
    13. Genus Tylonycteris (bamboo bats)
    14. Genus Mimetillus (narrow-winged bats)
    15. Genus Hesperoptenus
    16. Genus Chalinolobus (wattled bats)
    17. Genus Glauconycteris (butterfly bats)
    18. Genus Nycticeius
    19. Genus Nycticeinops (Schlieffen's twilight bats)
    20. Genus Scoteanax (greater broad-nosed bats)
    21. Genus Scotorepens (lesser broad-nosed bats)
    22. Genus Scotoecus
    23. Genus Rhogeessa (Rhogeessa bats)
    24. Genus Scotomanes (harlequin bats)
    25. Genus Scotophilus (yellow bats)
    26. Genus Otonycteris (desert long-eared bats)
    27. Genus Lasiurus (hairy-tailed bats)
    28. Genus Barbastella (barbastelles)
    29. Genus Plecotus (lump-nosed bats)
    30. Genus Idionycteris (Allen's big-eared bats)
    31. Genus Euderma (spotted bats)
    32. Genus Nyctophilus (New Guinean and Australian big-eared bats)
    33. Genus Pharotis
  • Subfamily Murininae
    1. Genus Murina (tube-nosed insectivorous bats)
    2. Genus Harpiocephalus (hairy-winged bats)
  • Subfamily Myotinae
    1. Genus Myotis (little brown bats)
    2. Genus Lasionycteris (silver-haired bats)
  • Subfamily Miniopterinae
    • Genus Miniopterus (long-winged bats)
  • Subfamily Kerivoulinae
    • Genus Kerivoula (painted bats)

The above grouping of subfamilies is the classification according to Simmons and Geisler (1998). Other authorities raise three subfamilies more: Antrozoinae (which is here the separate family of pallid bats[?]), Tomopeatinae (now regarded as a subfamily of the Molossidae, free-tailed bats[?]) and Nyctophilinae (here included in Vespertilioninae).

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