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Miniopterus schreibersii dasythrix.jpg
Common bent-wing bat (Miniopterus schreibersi)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Superfamily: Vespertilionoidea
Family: Miniopteridae
Dobson, 1875
Genus: Miniopterus
Bonaparte, 1837

See text

Miniopterus, known as the bent-winged or long winged bats, is the sole genus of the family Miniopteridae. They are small flying insectivorous mammals, micro-bats of the order Chiroptera, with wings over twice the length of the body. The genus had been placed in its own subfamily among the vespertilionid bats, as Miniopterinae, but is now classified as its own family.


Bent-winged bats are typically small (total length c. 10 cm, wingspans 30–35 cm, mass less than 20 g), with broad, short muzzles. The cranium is bulbous and taller than the snout, a feature shared with woolly bats and mouse-eared bats. This combination of features was likely present in the common ancestor of the vesper bats. They have two tiny, vestigial premolars between the upper canines and first large premolar. Unlike other bats, they lack a tendon-locking mechanism in their toes.

The common name of bent-winged bat refers to the group's ability to fold back their extra-long third finger when the wings are folded. This finger gives the bats long, narrow wings.[1] The proportional length of the wing is around two and a half times that of the body and head.[2]

Research applications[edit]

In 2017, evidence of deltaretroviruses was found in the genome of the Miniopteridae.[3] Deltaretroviruses only affect mammals, and this was the first evidence that they affected bat species.[3] The presence of the deltaretrovirus in multiple Miniopterid species suggests that the virus was present in the family before speciation 20 million years ago.[3] The evolutionary history of deltaretroviruses is important because they cause leukemia in humans.


Family Miniopteridae


Bent-winged bats occur in southern Europe, across Africa and Madagascar, throughout Asia, and in Australia, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. One species, the common bent-wing bat, inhabits the whole of this range.[1] The group rapidly colonized much of this area in the last 15,000 years.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Appleton, B.R.; McKenzie, J.A.; Christidis, L. (2004). "Bent-winged bats: wide ranges, very weird wings (vesper bats part III)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 31 (2): 431–439. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2003.08.017. PMID 15062785. Retrieved 2015-05-07.
  2. ^ Hall, L.S.; Woodside, D.P. (1989). "42. Vespertilionidae". Fauna of Australia. Canberra: Australian Govt. Pub. Service. ISBN 9780644060561.
  3. ^ a b c Farkašová, H., Hron, T., Pačes, J., Hulva, P., Benda, P., Gifford, R. J., & Elleder, D. (2017). Discovery of an endogenous Deltaretrovirus in the genome of long-fingered bats (Chiroptera: Miniopteridae). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201621224.
  4. ^ Monadjem, A.; Goodman, S.M.; Stanley, W.T.; Appleton, B. (2013). "A cryptic new species of Miniopterus from south-eastern Africa based on molecular and morphological characters". Zootaxa. 3746 (1): 123–142. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3746.1.5. hdl:2263/58374.
  • Goodman, S. M., K. E. Ryan, C. P. Maminirina, J. Fahr, L. Christidis, and B. Appleton. 2007. Specific status of populations on Madagascar referred to Miniopterus fraterculus (Chiroptera: Vespertillionidae), with description of a new species. Journal of Mammalogy, 88:1216-1229.
  • Goodman, S.M., Maminirina, C.P., Weyeneth, N., Bradman, H.M., Christidis, L., Ruedi, M. & Appleton, B. 2009. The use of molecular and morphological characters to resolve the taxonomic identity of cryptic species: the case of Miniopterus manavi (Chiroptera: Miniopteridae). Zoologica Scripta 38: 339-363
  • Mein, P. and Ginsburg, L. 2002. Sur l'âge relatif des différents karstiques miocènes de La Grive-Saint-Alban (Isère). Cahiers scientifiques, Muséum d'Histoire naturelle, Lyon 2:7–47.
  • Miller-Butterworth, C., Murphy, W., O'Brien, S., Jacobs, D., Springer, M. and Teeling, E. 2007. A family matter: Conclusive resolution of the taxonomic position of the long-fingered bats, Miniopterus. Molecular Biology and Evolution 24(7):1553–1561.
  • Simmons, N. B. 2005. Order Chiroptera. pp. 312–529 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  • Furman, A., Öztunç, T. & Çoraman, E. 2010b. On the phylogeny of Miniopterus schreibersii schreibersii and Miniopterus schreibersii pallidus from Asia Minor in reference to other Miniopterustaxa (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Acta Chiropterologica 12, 61-72.