The Yellow-winged bat (Lavia frons) is one of five species of false vampire bat (family Megadermatidae) from Africa. The yellow winged bat uses echolocation to track down small insects flying through the air. Its acute, highly adapted hearing allows them to hear the high frequency waves that bounce of the insect. Echolocation works by using high frequency waves that the human ear cannot hear. The bat will send the wave out of its nose (this gives it the high pitch frequency)where it will then travel through the air and be ricocheted back towards the bat when it hits something such as a tree or insect. they can then work out the time it touch for the wave to reach them to judge the size, shape, position and distance of the object.
It is found in Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and moist savanna.
(From Wikipedia, May 17th, 2010)
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Lavia frons is an average-sized bat with the female slightly larger than the male. The weight of Lavia frons (male and female considered) ranges from 28 to 36 grams (Kingdon, 1974). The length from head to tail of females ranges from 63 to 80 mm while the length of males goes from 58 to 80 mm (Rosevear, 1965).
An important defining characteristics of bats is their forearm length. Females have forearm lengths of 55 to 63 mm; males, from 55 to 60 mm. Ear length of females ranges from 36 to 47 millimeters and for males, from 35 to 45 mm. The tibia length ranges from 33 to 37 mm for females and from 32 to 36 mm for males. The length of the skull ranges from 23.3 mm to 26.1 mm for females and 22.8 to 25.0 mm for males (Rosevear, 1965). Members of this species have prominent postorbital processes.
The dental formula is 0/2 1/1 1/2 3/3 (upper/lower incisors, upper/lower canines, upper/lower premolars, upper/lower molars). Lavia frons, like other Megadermitidae, has no upper incisors. The molars are dilambdodont, which is consistent with eating insects. There is a cingulum on the canine as well as two secondary cusps. The premolars are quite large with the posterior premolars being bigger than the anterior premolars. Finally, the incisors of the lower jaw have rounded crowns (Rosevear, 1965).
Lavia frons have a bluish gray body with some members having a lower back that is somewhat brownish or green. The wings are broad and the wingspan is about 14 inches (Rosevear, 1965). The color of its wings is a mixture of red and yellow and hence, Lavia frons is often referred to as the African Yellow-Winged bat. Its ears, like its wings, are reddish yellow. The ears contain a divided tragus that is relatively spiky. The eyes are quite large. In fact, Lavia frons has the second largest eyes of any African microchiroptera, second only to Cardioderma cor (Vaughan and Vaughan, 1987). The noseleaf of Lavia frons is distinctive in that it is enveloped by a pointed spike. Other physical characteristics include glands on males that secrete a yellow substance that discolors the lower back and a pair of false nipples near the anus of females.
(From EOL via Animal Diversity Web)