‘eighty years of promoting biodiversity conservation through taxonomic research, scientific training and international networks’

Harrison Institute, Centre for Biodiversity Research

Hipposideros larvatus is one of 119 bat species recorded from the Indian Subcontinent.

The monograph on the Bats of the Indian Subcontinent, which was published in 1997.

Field work: David Harrison with Manoj Muni of the Bombay Natural History Society.

Bats of the Indian Subcontinent

Host country: India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal

Project objective: to provide a comprehensive and detailed review of the bats of the Indian Subcontinent

Project outputs
  • A comprehensive review of the 119 bat species recorded from the region with detailed information on:
    • Synonymies
    • External, cranial, dental, and bacular characters
    • Taxonomic variation
    • Distribution within the Subcontinent
    • Habits, including reproduction and diet
    • Conservation status

  • A series of surveys for bats throughout India and Sri Lanka

  • Co-supervision of PhD student Mrs Yasantha Mapatuna of the University of Colombo

  • The rediscovery of the ‘world’s rarest bat’ Salim Ali’s Fruit bat (Latidens salimalii) on 8 April, 1993

  • A rediscovery of Wroughton’s free-tailed bat (Otomops wroughtoni) in the Barapede caves, Karnataka State

  • Participation in a series of workshops on bats and their conservation status organized by Zoo Outreach http://www.zooreach.org/index.html

Collaborating institutions:
Bombay Natural History Museum in India; Departments of National Museums in Sri Lanka; and the Harrison Institute

Harrison Institute contact: Dr Paul Bates – harrisoninstitute@btinternet.com

Principal Funder: Harrison Institute Trust, with support from the British Council and The Royal Society, UK

Dates: April, 1992 – on-going

Publications from the project:


Bates, P.J.J. and D.L. Harrison. 1997. Bats of the Indian Subcontinent. Harrison Zoological Museum Publications. 258 pp.

Bates, P.J.J. and D.L. Harrison. 2000. Bats of the Indian Subcontinent. World Biodiversity Database CD-Rom series, Springer-Verlag.

Papers and reports

Bates, P. J. J., D. L. Harrison, and M. Muni. 1994a. Bats of Western India. Part 1. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 91(1): 1-15; 1994b: Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 91(2): 224-240; 1994c: Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 91(3): 360-380;

Daniel, J.C., M. Muni, and A. Akhtar. 1992. The bats of Barapede Cave. Hornbill, 1992(3): 28-33.

Mapatuna, Y., M. B. Gunasekera, W.D. Ratnasooriya, N.C.W. Goonesekere and P.J.J. Bates. 2002. Unravelling the taxonomic status of the genus Cynopterus (Chiroptera: Pteropididae) in Sri Lanka by multivariate morphometrics and mitochondrial DNA analysis. Mamm. Biol., 67: 321-337.

Thabah, A. and P.J.J. Bates. 2002. Recent record of Otomops wroughtoni (Chiroptera: Molossidae) from Meghalaya, North-East India. Acta Zoologica Hungarica, 48(3): 251-253.

Thomas, N.M. 1997. A systematic review of selected Afro-Asiatic Rhinolophidae (Mammalia: Chiroptera): an evaluation of taxonomic methodologies. Unpublished PhD thesis: Aberdeen University.
Thomas, N.M. 2000. Morphological and mitochondrial-DNA variation in Rhinolophus rouxii Temminck, 1835 (Chiroptera). Bonner Zoologische Beitrage, 49(1-4): 1-18.

Vanitharani, J., M. Pearch, L. Jeya Praba and R. Annamalai. 2004. A review of the distribution and status of Latidens salimalii (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) with new records from the Western Ghats, India. Lutra, 47(1): 21-32.

Vanitharani, J., A. Rajendran, P.J.J. Bates and D.L. Harrison. 2003. A taxonomic reassessment of Kerivoula lenis Thomas, 1916 (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) including a first record from peninsular India. Acta Chiropterologica, 5(1): 49-60.