Roundleaf Bat and its Insect Prey

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Photographed in situ [1]

A roundleaf bat (Hipposideros cf. diadema) hangs from a branch in ambush, waiting to resume its nocturnal foraging on insect prey on Rinca island. Most of the time it’s almost impossible for me to take in situ photos of microbats. Their jagged flight patterns make them elusive targets and very difficult to identify.  This one landed about four meters away from me and rotated wildly around the branch for about five seconds.

Roundleaf bats (family Hipposideridae) get their name from their enlarged nose leaf which plays a role in echolocation. H. diadema is primarily insectivorous, ambushing beetles, moths, katydids, and the like from high perches. They have large sharp canine teeth for piercing arthropod exoskeletons when making the catch. Curiously, there are a few records of this species taking birds as prey, but the prevalence of this behavior is largely unknown.

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Dark striated hawk moth (Hippotion velox); photographed in situ [1]
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Photographed in situ [1]
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Male rhinoceros beetle (Xylotrupes cf. florensis); photographed after disturbance [4]

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