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Photographic record of Painted Wooly Bat (Kerivoula picta) in Bandhavgarh National Park

November 18, 2013


 Painted Wooly Bat (Kerivoula picta) has been listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, it occurs in a number of protected areas, has a tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.


            This widespread species has been recorded from southern and northeastern South Asia, southern China, most of mainland Southeast Asia and some major islands in insular Southeast Asia. In South Asia, the species is known from Bangladesh (Dhaka division) (Sarker and Sarker 2005, Srinivasulu and Srinivasulu 2005), India (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal), Nepal (Central and Mid-western Nepal) and Sri Lanka (Central, Eastern, Sabargamuwa, Southern and Western provinces) (Molur et al. 2002). In China, it has been recorded from much of southeast China, including the island of Hainan. In Southeast Asia, it ranges throughout the mainland, and has been recorded from the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, Ambon, Halmahera and Ternate. In South Asia it has been recorded from sea level up to 1,500 m asl (Molur et al.2002).            However, very little is know about this bat which resembles recently recorded Hodgson’s Bat from Western Ghats (Rohit Chakravarty  et al. 2013 on Conservation India). This very beautiful bat, which, when disturbed in the daytime, looks more like a butterfly or moth than a bat, has been found over a great part of India, though nowhere common. 

            My first reaction on the sight of this bat was that of a strikingly colored moth. This bat got inside a room at Samode Safari Lodge in Bandhavgarh, late in the evening,  and after flying in the room for about 10-15 minutes landed on the floor exhausted. This gave us enough time to photograph this magnificent creature and marvel at the nature’s creation. This is not the first photographic record of this bat from Central India, however, owing to its crepuscular nature is indeed a rare sighting.



Hutson, A.M., Francis, C., Molur, S. & Srinivasulu, C. 2008. Kerivoula picta. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 17 November 2013

Jerdon, T.C. (1867). The Mammalia of India: A Natural History of all the Animals known to Inhabit Continental India. Roorkee (Author). 

Sterndale, R. A. (1884). Natural History of The Mammalia of India and Ceylon. Calcutta : Thacker, Spink 

Blandford, W.T. (1888-1891). The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma-Mammalia. London (Taylor and Francis). 

Ellerman, J.R. and M.T.C.S. Scott (1951). Checklist of Palaearctic and Indian Mammals 1758-1946. Museum Natural History, London.

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This is just fantastic.

Katikeya, there are very few visitors in these jungles who are aware and perceptive to the fauna of Bandhavgarh. The Wooly Bats have been a part of our existence ever since I was a kid here and hopefully my great grand kids will also cherish their legacy.