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The study of bat fauna in the south part of Iran: a case study of Jahrom.


Bats (order chiroptera) are only true flying mammals that live all over the world except in polar regions and very warm location [22].

Bat with 19 family and more than 1250 known spices, are quarter of mammals [5]. They are insectivore, frugivor (they eat pollen, nectar and even leaf) and vampire [31]. They are vital to the health of agriculture because many plants depend partly or wholly on bats for pollinating the flowers or spreading their seeds [41].

Bat's colony can eat numerous of insects and reduction of pest insects. Their guano is rich of mineral substances, especially nitrogen that necessary for agriculture. So they have important role in ecosystem [22].

Bats are associated with many kinds of internal and external parasites. Many flatworms (Cestoda and Trematoda) and roundworms (Nematoda) are endoparasite and Ticks, mites and fleas [35] are ectoparasite of bat. Other pathogen agents such as Plasmodium, Hepatocystis, trypanosoma [20], viral agent as Ebola and rabbis and West Nile virus, and other virus [16], lethal funguses as Histoplasma capsulatum [23] and Geomyces destructans [9,24] are important pathogen for them. the association of bats with these pathogen agent due to diseases in man [37].

Bats are threatened by disturbance to their feeding habitats or their roosts. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 25% of bats are threatened. Sadly at least 80 species have already become extinct [8] and the fruit eater bats are more threatened [27].

So bats as an important part of nature, need greater protection. We need to build capacity for bat conservation and we must educate people about the value of these animals.

Bats in Iran named khofash and shopar and with 45 known species [19] have the largest number in Middle East [3].

30 species of Vespertidae family live in Iran and Triaenops persicus recorded from Iran for first time. In west and north of Iran, bat fauna were studied [34,35,28,13] but in southern is less [3,4,42].

For bat identification, morphological and anatomical characters [18] Gentical methods [7], phylogenic [39,38,32] and echological study [22] and molecular method [14,26] were applied.

Materials and Method

Jahrom (research site) district with 5498 km2 area is located in the southwest of Iran between 53*, 30' to 53;, 34' E & 28;, 29' N to 28;, N, and between 985 to 1120 m above M.S.L. (Fig.1).

Warm weather, richness of flora, numerous caves and ponds that are habitat for thousands of insects in this site, due to aggregation of bat. 7 large caves [25] in this area selected (Table 1) and sampling was carried out between April 2010 to April 2011. 68 bats were captured with hand and using mist-net (with different sizes and 4 cm mesh) during day. In the lab, they classified with morphological characters by dichotomous Key [29,12]. In some cases, The lack of obvious morphological differences between species due to using PCR technique based on DNA extract [26]. Some of them autopsied and analysed their stomach contents and droppings for determination of their diet type by PCR method. In this survey, morphological characters as colure, distribution of hair, shape of uropatagium (tail membrane) and nose leaf, calcar (a foot spur of cartilage that supports the membrane between the foot and tail), post calcar, shape of ear, tragus and antitragus. wingspan, total length (head and body), tail, foot and forearm length (from the base of the thumb to the end of the ulna), were measured by caliper (0.01cm) and weighted with 0.01 gr. Skeletal components as skull length, jaws length and shape especially dental formula was keys for identification [1]. Samples were preserved by fixing in formalin 10% or taxidermy.


10 species belonge to 6 family of bat identified that include:

Hipposideridae [Asellia tridens (Geoffroy, 1813), Triaenops persicus (Dobson, 1871)]

Molossidae [Tadarida aegyptiaca (Geoffroy, 1818)]

Rhinolophidae [Rhinolophus hipposideros (Bechstein, 1800)]

Rhinopomatidae [Rhinopoma hardwickei (Gray, 1831), Rhinopoma muscatellum (Thomas, 1903)]

Pteropodidae [Rousettus aegyptiacus (Geoffroy, 1810)]

Vespertilionidae [(Myotis leibii (Audubon and Bachman, 1842), Myotis sodalis (Miller and Allen, 1928); Pipistrellus aegypticus (Tomas, 1902), pipistrellus kuhlii (Kuhl, 1819)]

R. aegyptiacus, M. Sodali and Rhinopoma jenus were the most widely distributed species with hundred individuals. The most of them were resident in overtime in this local and often hibernate during cold and winter months. M. leibii was seen in 1 site in winter but M. sodali was seen in 4 sites in over time. R. hipposideros, R. aegyptiacus and R. muscatellum recorded previously and others were new recorded. Identified species were described:

1--Asellia tridens = Trident leaf-nosed bat Description: This is a small leaf-nosed bat that covered by grayish fur, Wing and interfemoral membrane is hairless, triangle and tail is well-developed and grater part in. They have calcar but haven't keel (Fig 2). Two false mammary glands are top of genital pore. The nose leaf has three vertical projections at its superior edge (Fig 3). The central projection is pointed, while the outer ones are blunt [30]. Big and broad Easers are pointed, directed outward, without tragus but have big antitragus (table 2).

2--Triaenops persicus persicus = Persian Trident Bat Description: This bat is small (table 2) with grey and brown colour. Nose-leaf with three spear-shaped leaves on posterior, a fourth projects from the centre of the nose-leaf (Fig 4). This is very similar to A. tridens but They have bone spur in 4th phalange.

3--Rhinolophus hipposideros = Lesser horseshoe bat Description: This is small and covered by brown hair on back and grey-white underneath but face is hair less. Broad wings with rounded ends (table 2). ears are Largewithout tragus but have large and square antitragus (Fig 5). Dummy teats on chest of females in addition to functional mammary glands. Eyes are Small and noseleaf divided into three parts: the anterior leaf (lowest part) is rounded, and horseshoe shaped. the middle part of the noseleaf, has a raised portion called the sella and posterior leaf, which rises to a long triangular point which is called the lancet. The sella is connected to the posterior noseleaf by connecting process. The upper process of the sella is low while its lower process projects out.

Calcar (1.2 cm), without post calcar. Hind foot is small (0.4cm) with long claw and without hair. This species doesn't have the lappets (table 2).

4--Rhinopoma muscatellum = Muscat mouse-tailed bat

Description: This is a small mouse-tailed bat. The colure is pale gray and dens fur especially in thorax but face, ears and lower of abdomen is hair-free. The tail is very long, slender, and a large portion of it projecting free from the interfemoral membrane (Fig 6). The tail in this species is usually shorter than the forearm. Eyes is small, ears are very large and are connected across the forehead. The tragus is well develop but without antitragus. Leafnose is simple on the tip of snout (Table 2).

5--Rhinopoma hardwicke = Lesser Mouse-tailed Bat

Description: This spices is very similar to R. muscatellum but it's tail is almost longer than the forearm. This character is important for distinguish from other spices. Back is coloured greyish-brown or dark brown and back of abdomen is hair-free (Fig7). Large rhomboidal ears connected across forehead with large tragus (1/2 ear length). They have large eyes and small nose-leaf on snout (Fig 8).

6--Rousettus aegyptiacus = Egyptian Fruit Bat

Description: They are very large with light colors, ling hair and their face are similar to fox (Fig 9). R. aegyptiacus is the only bat species that belong to the megabats in Iran [11]. Eyes are big and dark, ears small with simple pinna, without tragus and anti tragus, the muzzle is long (Fig 10). Tail is very small, interfemoral membrane with calcar, second digit well-developed phalanges and the first and second digits are clawed. They are the largest bat and the most frequently recorded bat species in this regions. Males are larger than females and have a large scrotal sac.

7--Myotis sodalis = Indian bat

Discription: The body is small and covered by dark fur but back of abdomen is light. The face is hair--free specially on the their pink lip (Fig 11). Their ears are small, pointed and separated and eyes very small. Interfemoral membrane is triangle and surrounded whole of tail. Strongly killed calcar (2.1cm), small hind foot (<0.8cm) and small toe with fewer, shorter hairs that don't extend beyond the toe nails (table 2).

8--Myotis leibii = Eastern Small-footed Myotis

Discription: They have small size with soft and golden brown fur on ventral and gray on dorsal surface (Fig 12). Ears are small and oval shape (Fig 13). They have black face and small hind feet (0.3 mm) with tall hair (table 2). In this study, this species only was observed in winter. Perhaps this spices migrated to this location (Jahrom).

9--Pipistrellus aegypticus = aegyptian pipistrelle

Description: The body is thin with less hair. On the head there are bright gray furs and on the back there are brown furs. Their feet are small (0.02 to 0.04 cm) but their fingers are long and there are thin furs on the feet (Fig 14). There is a space between the two ears. The eyes are small and the muzzle is thin. The nose is simple. The tail is also vast, triangular, without hair and is joint from the tip toe to the last vertebrae of the tail. It is without keel (table 2).

10--Pipistrellus kuhlii = Kuhl's pipistrelle

Description: Body is a small and hair colour is brownish to blackish above and light brown or whitish below. Narrow wings always have a distinct white border between the foot and the fifth digit, tending to invade the membrane. Ears rounded with five horizontal creases on outer margin, rounded tragus (Fig 15).




Collected bats in this area, were found different from the point of view of color and size with sample bats, which is due to the effect geography and ecological parameters on morphology of bat [2].

According to some researches climate and even amount of available food can change the morphology and size of bats [14]. Observation of some species such as R. aegyptiacus, Rhinopoma's species and M. sodalis in some locations (Shafagh, sangtrashan and vishoo cave) illustrated that this area was suitable habitat for bats. Furthermore, it was also found that characteristics of caves can affect the size and population of bats [10]. Shafag cave have high population and diversity of bat due to presence of ponds, high humidity and dense populaton of insects. This can be attributed to habitat and nich [17].

R. aegyptiacus is the only frugiver species in this area. It eats soft fruit and nectar (Palm, Ziziphus, Ficus and Citrus fruit), due they are as seed dispersers and pollinators of many flowers and trees. The results where in line with some other researches in Gheshm and other southern parts of Iran [42] showed importance of them in pollination. Observation Rousettus aegyptiacus in over time related to existence of food source that is present in all seasons. Topography and geographical characters this zone caused importance role of this bat in agriculture. Sadly farmers consider bats to be harmful pests. As a result farmers should be informed about it.

Two families of nouse leaf bat [Hipposideridae (Fig. 2) and Rhinolophidae (Fig. 3)] were in separate locations without any overlap. Two species of Hipposideridae were observed side by side in large colonies. Big ears and absence bone spur in 4th phalange in A. Trident (Fig. 9) distigushed from T. persicus [4].

P. aegypticus (Fig. 6) and P. kuhlii were widespread in this region, A distinctive feature for P. kuhlii, is their large ears that tend to the tip of the own nose. The outer layer of ear is darker with fur.

M. sodalis (Fig. 5) are very difficult to distinguish from other species, therefore examined closely as molecular analysis [6]. Strongly keel is in the M. sodalis and M. leibii, distinguished from other spices but the size of the feet, the length of the toe hairs and pink lips are characteristics used to differentiate the Indiana bat from M. leibii.

Though M. sodalis is going to be extinct in America, they were found a lot in research area which is considerable. Permanent presence of M. leibii (only in winter) showed that they are migrate bat and warm climate of this region is suitable for them.

All of the species were identified by morphological characteristics other than species of Rhinopoma and myotis, Due to high similarity between species of each were distigueshed by PCR analysis.

Although human disturbance in roost sites and pesticide use against locusts are the main threats for bat in research region but presence of high numbers of colonies of them showed that it isn't threats to the species [34].

Though M. sodalis is going to be extinct in America, they were found a lot in research area which is considerable. Permanent presence of M. leibii (only in winter) showed that they are migrate bat and warm climate of this region is suitable for them. Although in this study, caves investigated as roosting sites for bats, but many of them were observed in tree cavities and even houses. Therefore identify roosts and making recommendations for the future management for bat conservation is necessary.


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(1) Farangis Ghassemi, M.S., (2) Hosein Kargar, M.S., (3) Azadeh Nemati, Ph.D.

(1) Department of Biology, Jahrom branch, Islamic Azad University, Jahrom, Iran,

(2) Department of Biology, Jahrom branch, Islamic Azad University, Jahrom, Iran,

(3) Department of English language teaching, Jahrom branch, Islamic Azad University, Jahrom, Iran.

Corresponding Author

Hosein Kargar, M.S., Department of Biology, Jahrom branch, Islamic Azad University, Jahrom, Iran
Table 1: Geographic character of stations in Jahrom area.

station The internal Altitude
 character of the cave (m)

Shahneshin L-15m, alt: 3m 1289
Tadvan L: 200m al: 20-65m 1200
Sangtrashan L: 2000m, alt; 3 m 1090
Shefagh L: 250m, alt: 8-40m 1530
Shekafshitan L:80 m, alt: 1-30m 1043
Vishou L:1000 m, alt: 5-15m 1475
Bolghan L: 3-8m, alt: 3m 950

station Latitude(n) Longitude(w)

Shahneshin 28[degrees]28' 92" 53[degrees]36' 77"
Tadvan 28[degrees]50' 45" 53[degrees]19' 46"
Sangtrashan 28[degrees]29' 22" 53[degrees]34' 80"
Shefagh 28[degrees]34' 14" 52[degrees]56' 58"
Shekafshitan 28[degrees]34' 87" 53[degrees]13' 58"
Vishou 28[degrees]34' 38" 52[degrees]56' 23"
Bolghan 28[degrees]76' 09" 53[degrees]11' 36"

Table 2: Composition of the bat fauna in Jahrom area (2010-2011).

Jenus & species Family wing ear.L tail.L
 span (cm) (cm)

Asellia tridens Hipposideridae 31.5 1.7 1.2
Triaenops persicus Hipposideridae 34.9 1.8 2.8
Rhinolophus hipposideros Rhinolophidae 29.5 1.3 3.2
Rhinopoma muscatellum Rhinopomatidae 29.1 1.9 5.1
Rhinopoma hardwickei Rhinopomatidae 33.2 1.6 6.4
Rousettus aegyptiacus Pteropodidae 59.8 1.8 1,3
Myotis sodali Vespertilionidae 38.8 o.8 5.1
Myotis leibii Vespertilionida 24.8 0.5 4.8
Pipistrellus aegypticus Vespertilionidae 38.9 1.9 2.9
pipistrellus kuhlii Vespertilionidae 23.2 1.2 3.9

Jenus & species forearm. body. Wight
 L(cm) L(cm) (gr)

Asellia tridens 5.5 6 9.6
Triaenops persicus 5.5 5.5 10
Rhinolophus hipposideros 3.8 4.5 6.5
Rhinopoma muscatellum 5.8 5.8 6.2
Rhinopoma hardwickei 4.4 5.8 6.8
Rousettus aegyptiacus 8.2 13.2 125
Myotis sodali 3.8 6.3 6.3
Myotis leibii 3.2 5.3 4.5
Pipistrellus aegypticus 5.9 6.5 7.2
pipistrellus kuhlii 4.2 5.1 7.2
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Author:Ghassemi, Farangis; Kargar, Hosein; Nemati, Azadeh
Publication:Advances in Environmental Biology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Sep 1, 2012
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