The yellow-winged bat (Lavia frons) is found only in tropical Africa and is one
of the species we are likely to see on BCI's 1996 Founder's Circle trip to East Africa (see back cover for details). These bats' colorful wings are a dramatic sight when they are flying and a superb camouflage when roosting. Wrapping their wings around their bodies, yellow-winged bats take on the appearance of dead leaves in the dense bushes where they roost. They also sometimes position themselves among colorful yellow berries.
Yellow-winged bats roost in monogamous pairs, and the male defends its territory for the exclusive feeding rights of its mate. They eat many kinds of insects and have been known to hunt during the day. Because their large ears enable them to hear even the faint footsteps of insects walking on the ground, they can hunt by simply hanging from a branch then pouncing on the insect as it passes below.
Photo by Merlin D. Tuttle