How many species are there in the family Vespertilionidae?
Members of family Vespertilionidae, more commonly known as “evening bats” or “vesper bats”, form the largest family in order Chiroptera, containing as many as 407 known species, 48 genera, and six subfamilies (Vespertilioninae, Antrozoinae, Myotinae, Miniopterinae, Murininae, and Kerivoulinae).
Are all vespertilionids insectivores?
All vespertilionids are insectivorous, and most catch their prey in the air while flying. Some species, however, may glean insects off surfaces or trawl with their hind feet across lakes or streams to catch their food. All Vespertilionidae share the following features:
How big do vespertilionids get?
A great deal of morphological diversity exists within this family because it is so large. Most species are relatively small, but can range from 30 to 130 mm and 40 to 80 g. Despite this variation in size, the majority of vespertilionid species have many other physical attributes in common.
What is the evolutionary relationship between Vespertilionidae and chiropterans?
The evolutionary ties between Vespertilionidae and other chiropteran families are also unclear at this time. Because bats are so numerous and varied in their adaptations, feeding strategies, and life history characteristics, it is difficult to construct an accurate phylogeny using morphological data alone.
What are the physical characteristics of vespertilionids?
Despite this variation in size, the majority of vespertilionid species have many other physical attributes in common. They are most often characterized by a simple face, lacking a true noseleaf, but these features can be somewhat variable. Their face may also be adorned with a variety of swollen glands and other structures.
Where do vespertilionids live?
Vespertilionids thrive in a wide variety of habitats. They can be found from tropical to temperate areas, and often prefer wooded or open landscapes, depending on the species. Some vespertilionids can even be found in desert habitats. Vespertilionid species are most diverse in tropical regions. Evening bats can roost in a wide variety of places.