Types of Bats

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Members to the Chiroptera order, bats, come in more than 1,240 species and are grouped into two suborders, namely the Microchiroptera (microbats) and Megachiroptera (megabats).

The two suborders of bats are based on their size and other unique behaviors or characteristics.

Megachiroptera (Mega bats)

The Megachiroptera or megabats are also known as fruit bats because of their tendency to eat mostly fruits.

These types of bats also have ears that are slightly smaller than those of the microbats, and also have a lesser ability to interpret sound waves. Nevertheless, megabats are known to have very sharp eyesight.

Some adult megabats can grow up to 40 centimeters with their wings reaching up to or more than two feet when stretched out.

Examples of bat families that fall in this suborder are the Jamaican bat, black flying fox, golden capped bat, short-nosed bat, Mexican free-tailed, and the Egyptian fruit bat.

Microchiroptera (Microbats)

The Microchiroptera suborder is the second category of bats, and it is made up of 17 bat families.

The types of bats in this category are comparatively smaller in size than the megabats and have ears that are more elongated, and they also have a tragus that adapts to echolocation.

Even though these bats have poor vision, they can communicate easily via sound waves that they produce through their nose or mouth. They microbats do not have claws on their second finger, and they also have little underfur.


Some of the bat families in this suborder are disc and sac-winged bats, bulldog bats, brown-eared bats, slit-faced, mustached bats, horseshoe, and false vampire bats.

One thing both of these bat suborders have in common is that they hang upside down when resting in their roosts.

Types of bat Families

  • Archaeonycteridae
  • Cistugidae
  • Craseonycteridae
  • Emballonuridae
  • Free-tailed bat
  • Furipteridae
  • Hipposideridae
  • Leaf-nosed bat
  • Megadermatidae
  • Miniopteridae
  • Molossidae
  • Mormoopidae
  • Mystacinidae
  • Myzopodidae
  • Natalidae
  • Noctilionidae
  • Nycteri
  • Onychonycteridae
  • Palaeochiropterygidae
  • Philisidae
  • Phyllostomidae
  • Pteropodidae
  • Rhinolophidae
  • Rhinonycteridae
  • Rhinopomatidae
  • Thyropteridae
  • Vespertilionidae

Popular bat species

  • Egyptian fruit bat
  • California leaf-nosed bat
  • Honduran white bat
  • Indian flying fox
  • Black flying fox
  • Big brown bat
  • Peter’s dwarf epauletted fruit bat
  • Split-nosed bat
  • Brown long-eared bat
  • Striped yellow-eared bat
  • Mediterranean horseshoe bat
  • Desert long-eared bat
  • Pygmy pipistrelle
  • Greater false vampire bat
  • Lesser false vampire bat
  • Great fruit-eating bat
  • Eastern red bat
  • Kitti’s hog-nosed bat
  • Lesser short-nosed fruit bat
  • Spotted bat
  • Hammer-headed bat
  • Ethiopian epauletted fruit bat
  • Franquet’s epauletted fruit bat
  • East African epauletted fruit bat
  • Epomophorus
  • Mariana fruit bat
  • Hoary bat
  • Spectacled flying fox
  • Old World fruit bats
  • Indiana bat
  • Southern little yellow-eared bat
  • Sulawesi fruit bat
  • Pale spear-nosed bat
  • Gambian epauletted fruit bat
  • Pallid bat
  • Little brown bat
  • Mexican free-tailed bat
  • Virginia big-eared bat
  • Mariana fruit bat
  • Island tube-nosed fruit bat
  • Mountain tube-nosed fruit bat
  • Dwarf flying fox
  • Masked flying fox
  • Big-eared flying fox
  • Long-haired rousette
  • Yellow-winged bat
  • Arabian trident bat
  • Fawn leaf-nosed bat
  • Fulvus round leaf bat
  • Large-footed bat
  • Geoffroy’s bat
  • Fish-eating bat
  • Clear-winged woolly bat
  • Western barbastelle
  • Silver-haired bat
  • Yellow-bellied house bat
  • Western red bat
  • Evening bat
  • Jamaican bat
  • Tricolored bat
  • Indian pipistrelle
  • Golden capped bat
  • Mexican free-tailed
  • Short-nosed bat
  • bulldog bats
  • disc-winged bats
  • sac-winged bats
  • brown-eared bats
  • horseshoe
  • Straw-colored fruit bat
  • Wahlberg’s epauletted fruit bat
  • Gambian epauletted fruit bat
  • mustached bats
  • slit-faced
  • false vampire bats

We hope that you found this article useful. If there are other types of bats, you’ll like to add to the list, or if you have questions to ask, please leave a comment below.

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