Temporal range: Miocene to Recent
|New Zealand lesser short-tailed bat, Mystacina tuberculata|
Gray in Dieffenbach, 1843
Mystacinidae is a family of unusual bats, the New Zealand short-tailed bats. There is one living genus, Mystacina, with two recently extant species, one of which is believed to have become extinct in the 1960s. They are medium-sized bats, about 6 centimetres (2.4 in) in length, with grey, velvety fur.
- New Zealand greater short-tailed bat, Mystacina robusta (believed extinct)
- New Zealand lesser short-tailed bat, Mystacina tuberculata
Mystacinids are the most "un-batlike" family of bats. They spend much of the time on the ground, instead of flying, and are unique in having the ability to fold their wings into a leathery membrane when not in use. Another distinctive feature of the group is an additional projection on some of the claws, which may aid in digging or climbing. They are omnivorous, eating fruit and carrion in addition to ground-dwelling arthropods. They also eat pollen and nectar, which they are able to collect with their extensible tongues. They sometimes chew out burrows in rotting wood, but can also roost in rock crevices or the burrows of seabirds.
In 2010 the Department of Conservation discovered a feral cat that was responsible for killing over 100 short-tailed bats over a seven-day period in a forested area on the southern slope of Mount Ruapehu.
- Carter, G.G. & Riskin, D.K. (2006). "Mystacina tuberculata". Mammalian Species: Number 790: pp. 1–8. doi:10.1644/790.1.
- Macdonald, D., ed. (1984). The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. p. 805. ISBN 0-87196-871-1.
- Fenton, M. Brock (2001). Bats. New York: Checkmark Books. pp. 129–130. ISBN 0-8160-4358-2.
- "Cat nabbed raiding the mothership". Department of Conservation. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
- Daniel. M. (1985). "New Zealand's unique burrowing bats are endangered". Bats Magazine 2 (3).
- Weinstein, B. and P. Myers (2001). "Mystacinidae". Animal Diversity Web. Accessed 6 February 2009.
- Molloy, Janice (1995). Bat (Peka peka) recovery plan (Mystacina, Chalinolobus) (PDF). Wellington, N.Z.: Threatened Species Unit, Dept. of Conservation. ISBN 9780478015706.
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