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Family: Rhinolophidae

Scientific name: Rhinolophus cornutus

Common name: Japanese little horseshoe bat

IUCN status: Least Concern (LC)

MSJ Red list status: C-2


General morphology: General form is similar to R. ferrumequinum, but is remarkably small. The fur is thick and glossy, pale brown or dark orange; the connecting process of the intermediate nose-leaf is sharply pointed above; lower labial plate has three grooves and is divided into four parts; ears are large and lack a tragus; wings are short and broad, the second finger lacks phalanges, plagiopatagium is attached to ankle or tibia (Yoshiyuki, 1989). Wing aspect ratio is 5.00 (Yokoyama et al., 1975). Females have a pair of pseudomammillae anterior to the vulva. 


Diet: The prey includes Diptera, Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Trichoptera, Orthoptera and Araneae (Kuramoto, 1972; Funakoshi & Uchida, 1978; Funakoshi & Takeda, 1998). Feed mainly on Lepidoptera and Diptera (Funakoshi & Takeda, 1998). During hibernation, they feed on camel crickets (Orthoptera: Rhaphidophoridae) within caves and prey mainly on Diptera (e.g. Mycetophilidae, Tipulidae, and Trichoceridae emerged in winter and early spring) outside the cave (Funakoshi & Uchida, 1978; Funakoshi & Uchida, 1980).


Habitat: Roost mainly in natural caves, abandoned mines, unused tunnels, bomb shelters, and underground culverts (Sano, 2000; Sawada, 1994), and in abandoned houses on rare occasions (Satoh et al., 2012).


Echolocation calls: long duration; FM-CF-FM call structure (Funakoshi, 2010)



Kuramoto, T. (1972). Studies on bats at the Akiyoshi-dai Plateau, with special reference to the ecological and phylogenic aspects. Bulletin of the Akiyoshi-dai Science Museum, 8, 7-119.

Yokoyama, K., Uchida, T., & Shiraishi, S. (1975). Functional morphology of wings from the standpoint of adaptation for flight in Chiroptera, 1: Relative growth and ossification in the forelimb, wing loading, and aspect ratio. Zoological Magazine, 84, 233-247.

Funakoshi, K., & Uchida, T. (1978). Studies on the physiological and ecological adaptation of temperate insectivorous bats: II. Hibernation and winter activity in some cave-dwelling bats. Japanese Journal of Ecology, 28(3), 237-261.

Funakoshi, K., & Uchida, T. A. (1980). Feeding activity of the Japanese lesser horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus cornutus cornutus, during the hibernation period. Journal of Mammalogy, 61(1), 119-121.

Sawada, I. (1994). A list of caves of bat habitation in Japan. Journal of the Natural History of Japan, 2, 53-80.

Funakoshi, K., & Takeda, Y. (1998). Food habits of sympatric insectivorous bats in southern Kyushu, Japan. Mammal study, 23, 49-62.

Sano, A. (2000). Distribution of four cave-dwelling bat species in Ishikawa Prefecture, with references to the utilization of roosts. Mammalian Science, 40, 167-173. 

Funakoshi, K. (2010). Acoustic identification of thirteen insectivorous bat species from the Kyushu District, Japan. Mammalian Science, 50(2), 165-175.

Satoh, A., Katsuta, S., Miyake, T., Ohba, T., Yamamoto, Konogaya, N., Takayama, Y., Sasaki, A., Fujii, N., & Torii, H. (2012). Bat Fauna in Middle-western Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Natural History of the Tokai District, 5, 51-68.

Oohata, J. (2011). Bats in abandoned mine at Kawahira in Gohtsu City, Shimane Prefecture. Bulletin of the Shimane Nature Museum of Mt. Sanbe, 9, 89-98.

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