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Temporal range: Eocene to present
Commerson's leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros commersoni)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Superfamily: Rhinolophoidea
Family: Hipposideridae
Lydekker, 1891
Type genus
Gray, 1831

See text


The Hipposideridae are a family of bats commonly known as the Old World leaf-nosed bats. While it has often been seen as a subfamily, Hipposiderinae, of the family Rhinolophidae, it is now more generally classified as its own family.[1] Nevertheless, it is most closely related to Rhinolophidae within the suborder Yinpterochiroptera.[2]


The Hipposideridae contain 10 living genera and more than 70 species, mostly in the widespread genus Hipposideros.[3] In addition, several fossil genera are known; the oldest fossils attributed to the family are from the middle Eocene of Europe.[4] In their 1997 Classification of Mammals, Malcolm C. McKenna and Susan K. Bell proposed a division of Hipposideridae (called Rhinonycterinae in their work) into three tribes, one with two subtribes,[5] but these tribes turned out to be non-monophyletic and have been abandoned.[1] A different classification was proposed by Hand and Kirsch in 2003.[6] In 2009, Petr Benda and Peter Vallo proposed a separate tribe, Triaenopini, for the genera Triaenops, Paratriaenops, and possibly Cloeotis,[7] synonymised in a 2014 revision (Foley, et al.) that elevated the family Rhinonycteridae.[8] The Hipposideridae have many different families, previously confused to be the same for their similar appearance. The Hipposideridae fulvus is very similar to the Hipposideridae Pomona, which were a part of the same family in the past. The macrobullatus, considered to be a subspecies of the Hipposideridae are also part of a different family. Among the Hipposideridae species, there is an increased amount of mitochondrial differentation, possibly leading to these subspecies being intermixed and confused as one.[9][10][11]


The genera included in Hipposideridae are:[12]


  • Anthops (one species; Solomon Islands and Bougainville Island)
  • Asellia (four species; Africa and southwestern Asia; Miocene fossils from Europe)
  • Aselliscus (three species; southeastern Asia and Melanesia)
  • Coelops (at least two species; southeastern Asia; Miocene fossils from Africa)
  • Doryrhina (two species, Africa)
  • Hipposideros (more than sixty species; Africa, southern Eurasia, and Australasia; oldest fossils from the Eocene of Europe; includes Pseudorhinolophus, sometimes considered a separate genus)
  • Macronycteris (five species, Africa and Madagascar)

(Note that genus Paracoelops was previously listed for Vietnam is now a synonym of Hipposideros pomona)


List of species[edit]

Hipposideros lankadiva in Sri Lanka
Pseudorhinolophus antiquus skull and lower jaw at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
Colony of Hipposideros lankadiva (or perhaps Hipposideros speori) in a cave in Sri Lanka


  1. ^ This name technically has priority over Hipposiderinae Lydekker, 1891, and some have consequently used "Rhinonycteridae" or "Rhinonycterinae" for this (sub)family; however, Hipposideridae/inae has been in common use since 1907 and is currently retained pending action by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Simmons, 2005, p. 365
  2. ^ Hutcheon and Kirsch, 2006
  3. ^ Simmons, 2005, pp. 365–379
  4. ^ McKenna and Bell, 1997, p. 306
  5. ^ McKenna and Bell, 1997, pp. 306–307
  6. ^ Hand and Kirsch, 2003, table 3
  7. ^ Benda and Vallo, 2009, p. 33
  8. ^ Foley, Nicole M.; Thong, Vu Dinh; Soisook, Pipat; Goodman, Steven M.; Armstrong, Kyle N.; Jacobs, David S.; Puechmaille, Sébastien J.; Teeling, Emma C. (February 2015). "How and Why Overcome the Impediments to Resolution: Lessons from rhinolophid and hipposiderid Bats". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 32 (2): 313–333. doi:10.1093/molbev/msu329. PMC 4769323. PMID 25433366.
  9. ^ Vallo, Peter; Benda, Petr; Martínková, Natália; Kaňuch, Peter; Kalko, Elisabeth K. V.; Červený, Jaroslav; Koubek, Petr (June 2011). "Morphologically Uniform Bats Hipposideros aff. Ruber (Hipposideridae) Exhibit High Mitochondrial Genetic Diversity in Southeastern Senegal". Acta Chiropterologica. 13 (1): 79–88. doi:10.3161/150811011X578633. ISSN 1508-1109.
  10. ^ Hill, J. E.; Zubaid, A.; Davison, G. W. H. (1 January 1986). "The taxonomy of leaf-nosed bats of the Hipposideros bicolor group (Chiroptera : Hipposideridae) from southeastern Asia". Mammalia. 50 (4): 535–540. doi:10.1515/mamm.1986.50.4.535. ISSN 1864-1547.
  11. ^ Monadjem, Ara; Richards, Leigh; Taylor, Peter J.; Denys, Christiane; Dower, Aisling; Stoffberg, Samantha (December 2013). "Diversity of Hipposideridae in the Mount Nimba massif, West Africa, and the Taxonomic Status of Hipposideros lamottei". Acta Chiropterologica. 15 (2): 341–352. doi:10.3161/150811013X678964. ISSN 1508-1109.
  12. ^ Simmons, 2005, pp. 365–379; McKenna and Bell, 1997, pp. 306–307; other sources cited for specific genera
  13. ^ Hand and Kirsch, 2003
  14. ^ a b c Archer et al., 2006, p. 7
  15. ^ Ziegler, 2000, p. 652; Hand and Kirsch, 2003, table 3; cf. McKenna and Bell, 1997, p. 305 (excluded from Rhinonycterinae)
  16. ^ a b Benda, Petr; Vallo, Peter; Reiter, Antonín (2011). "Taxonomic Revision of the Genus Asellia(Chiroptera: Hipposideridae) with a Description of a New Species from Southern Arabia". Acta Chiropterologica. 13 (2): 245–270. doi:10.3161/150811011X624749.
  17. ^ Foley, N. M.; Goodman, S. M.; Whelan, C. V.; Puechmaille, S. J.; Teeling, E. (June 2017). "Towards Navigating the Minotaur's Labyrinth: Cryptic Diversity and Taxonomic Revision within the Speciose Genus Hipposideros (Hipposideridae)". Acta Chiropterologica. 19 (1): 1–18. doi:10.3161/15081109acc2017.19.1.001.
  18. ^ Goodman, S. M.; Schoeman, M. C.; Rakotoarivelo, A.; Willows-Munro, S. (2016). "How many species of Hipposideros have occurred on Madagascar since the Late Pleistocene?". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 177 (2): 428–449. doi:10.1111/zoj.12368.
  • Archer, M., Arena, D.A., Bassarova, M., Beck, R.M.D., Black, K., Boles, W.E., Brewer, P., Cooke, B.N., Crosby, K., Gillespie, A., Godthelp, H., Hand, S.J., Kear, B.P., Louys, J., Morrell, A., Muirhead, J., Roberts, K.K., Scanlon, J.D., Travouillon, K.J. and Wroe, S. 2006. Current status of species-level representation in faunas from selected fossil localities in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, northwestern Queensland. Alcheringa Special Issue 1:1-17. ISBN 0-9757894-5-7
  • Benda, P. and 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. Folia Zoologica 58(Monograph 1):1–45.
  • Hand, S.J. and Archer, M. 2005. A new hipposiderid genus (Microchiroptera) from an early Miocene bat community in Australia. Palaeontology 48(2):371–383.
  • Hand, S.J. and Kirsch, J.A.W. 2003. Archerops, a new annectent hipposiderid genus (Mammalia: Microchiroptera) from the Australian Miocene. Journal of Paleontology 77(6):1139–1151.
  • Hutcheon, J.M. and Kirsch, J.A.W. 2006. A moveable face: deconstructing the Microchiroptera and a new classification of extant bats. Acta Chiropterologica 8(1):1–10.
  • McKenna, M.C. and Bell, S.K. 1997. Classification of Mammals: Above the species level. New York: Columbia University Press, 631 pp. ISBN 978-0-231-11013-6
  • Simmons, N.B. 2005. Order Chiroptera. Pp. 312–529 in Wilson, D.E. and Reeder, D.M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: a taxonomic and geographic reference. 3rd ed. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2 vols., 2142 pp. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0
  • Ziegler, R. 2000. The bats (Chiroptera, Mammalia) from the Late Oligocene fissure fillings Herrlingen 8 and Herrlingen 9 near Ulm (Baden-Württemberg). Senckenbergiana Lethaea 80(2):647–683.