Image: White-striped Freetail-bat Illustration
White-striped Freetail-bats are bats that roost in tree hollows, under loose bark and in roofs in southern Australia. They are about 9 cm long with chocolate-brown fur and white stripes down the sides of their body.
- Andrew Howells
- © Australian Museum
- Common name:
- White-striped Freetail-bat
- Scientific name:
- Tadarida australis
White-striped Freetail-bats are bats that roost in tree hollows, under loose bark and in roofs in southern Australia. They are about 9 cm long with chocolate-brown fur and white stripes down the sides of their body. They have a wrinkled face, large ears and a long tail. Their long narrow wings help them fly quickly through the trees.
White-striped Freetail-bats hunt for flying insects, especially moths, at night. They fly over the treetops making small sounds through their mouth. The sounds bounce off objects, like insects, and come back to the bat. The bats listen to the sounds that come back and are able to tell where things are. This is called echolocation.
They catch the insects midair and eat them while they fly. White-striped Freetail-bats often also crawl around on the ground searching for insects.
Females give birth to one live young in November or December each year. The young bats are born helpless and without hair. The young bats feed on milk from nipples located under their mother's armpits until they are able to search for food for themselves.
White-striped Freetail-bats are known as Freetail-bats as part of their tail extends past the skin that stretches between their back legs. They are also one of the few bats with echolocation calls which can be heard by humans.