Little forest bat

Vespadelus vulturnus

One of the smallest mammals in Australia, this diminutive bat has bicoloured fur that is dark at the base and creamy white to grey at the tips (it is usually paler than other Vespasdelus occupying the same range). Their small size allows them to have great aerial agility when foraging for food. They fly below the canopy and often very close to the foliage. They don’t eat from the ground or from foliage and their diet consists of moths, bugs and beetles with the occasional spiders, grasshoppers and lacewings.


They prefer tall, open and riverine forest and can be found in mallee, mulga and brigalow woodland. Hollows with small entrances are preferred, but they will shelter in buildings. Colony sizes can range from a solitary individual to 120 bats.


Single young, and occasionally twins, are born in late October to December.

Predators and Threats

Hawks, owls, goannas and feral cats. Loss of tree roosts, land clearing and wildfire.


Photo:  Les Hall

Churchill, S. (2008) Australian Bats (2nd Edition). Allen and Unwin, Sydney.
Hall, L. (2009) Bats, A Wild Australia Guide. Steve Parish Publishing, Queensland.
Atlas of Living Australia