Beelzebub's Tube-Nosed Bat Discovered in Vietnam

Posted on September 11, 2011

Beelzebubs Tube Nosed Bat

Scientists from the Hungarian Natural History Museum (HNHM) and Fauna & Flora International (FFI) discovered three new bat species in Vietnam. One of the bats discovered is the tiny Beelzebub's tube-nosed bat pictured above. The dark coloration and its fierce protective behavior helped the bat gets its devilish name. He looks like more cute and sweet than vicious in the photograph.

Dr Gabor Csorba of HNHM says, "Beelzebub commonly appears as a high ranking personality of the underworld in Christian texts, in both Old and New testaments, although one of the presumed original meanings of the name is 'Lord of the Flies.' We chose the name Beelzebub to reflect the dark 'diabolic' colouration of the new species and its fierce protective behaviour in the field."

Dr Neil Furey of FFI says the bats are threatened by deforestation. He says, "As with Beelzebub's, the other two new species belong to a distinctive group known as tube-nosed bats. These species are highly adapted to forest environments, a fact which renders them especially vulnerable to ongoing deforestation in the region."

We hope something can be done to help protect the bat's habitat. National Geographic has a couple more photographs of the "demon" bat here.

Citation: Csorba, G., Nguyen Truong Son, Ith Saveng, Furey, N.M. 2011. Revealing cryptic bat diversity: three new Murina and redescription of M. tubinaris from Southeast Asia. Journal of Mammalogy 92(4):891-904. Doi: 10.1644/10-MAMM-A-269.1

Photo: Gabor Csorba, HNHM

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