African trident bat

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African trident bat
Naturalis Biodiversity Center - RMNH.MAM.32126.b ven - Triaenops persicus afer - skin.jpeg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Hipposideridae
Genus: Triaenops
T. afer
Binomial name
Triaenops afer
Peters, 1877
  • Triaenops persicus afer Peters, 1877
  • Triaenops persicus majusculus Aellen and Brosset, 1968

The African trident bat (Triaenops afer) is a species of bat found in Africa.

Taxonomy and etymology[edit]

It was described as a new species in 1877 by German zoologist Wilhelm Peters.[2] It was considered a subspecies of the rufous trident bat from approximately 1963–2009, when morphological and genetic analyses showed that it was a distinct species.[3] Its species name "afer" is Latin for "African."

Biology and ecology[edit]

It is nocturnal, roosting in sheltered places during the day such as caves or abandoned mines. Roosts can consist of up to half a million individuals, as this is a colonial species.[1]

Range and habitat[edit]

Triaenops afer has been documented in Eritrea, Mozambique, southwest Congo, and northwest Angola.[3] Previously believed to be the only member of its genus found in continental Africa, recent research incorporating morphological data and echolocation calls has shown that only the populations in coastal regions along the Indian Ocean and in the highlands of central Kenya and Ethiopia are T. afer, with the populations in the Rift Valley of Kenya actually being Triaenops persicus.[4]


  1. ^ a b Monadjem, A.; Shapiro, J. (2017). "Triaenops afer". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T81081036A95642225. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T81081036A95642225.en.
  2. ^ Peters, W. (1876). "Mittheilung über eine kleine Sammlung von Säugethieren, welche der Reisende Hr. JM Hildebrandt aus Mombaca in ostafrica eingesand hat". Monatsberichte der Königlichen Preussische Akademie des Wissenschaften zu Berlin. 1876: 913.
  3. ^ a b Benda, P.; Vallo, P. (2009). "Taxonomic revision of the genus Triaenops (Chiroptera: Hipposideridae) with description of a new species from southern Arabia and definitions of a new genus and tribe" (PDF). Folia Zoologica. 58 (1). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-09-16. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  4. ^ Rossoni, Daniela M.; Demos, Terrence C.; Goodman, Steven M.; Yego, Richard K.; Mohlman, Jessica L.; Webala, Paul W.; Patterson, Bruce D. (2021). "Genetic, morphological and acoustic differentiation of African trident bats (Rhinonycteridae: Triaenops)". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 192 (1): 236–257. doi:10.1093/zoolinnean/zlaa098.