Animal Database

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Animal Database
Animal Database
Chapin's Free-tailed Bat
Range central and southern Africa.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Chiroptera
Family Molossidae
Genus Chaerephon
Species Chaerephon chapini
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Chapin's free-tailed bat (Chaerephon chapini), is a species of free-tailed bat in the family Molossidae. It is found in central and southern Africa.


Chapin's free-tailed bat is a relatively small species, measuring 8 to 12 cm (3.1 to 4.7 in) in length, including a 3 cm (1.2 in) tail, and weighing around 10 g (0.35 oz). The body has pale cinnamon-brown or greyish fur that fades to near-white towards the middle of the belly. The wings are white or pale brown in colour. A distinctive crest of hair rises from a small lappet between the ears. This is relatively small and bland in females, but is three times larger, at up to 15 mm (0.59 in) long, and striking bi-coloured in males, being reddish chestnut at the base, and whitish above. The crest is especially well developed in breeding males, and helps to disperse scent from a gland at its base.

Biology and Habitat[]

Chapin's free-tailed bat is found across much of central and southern Africa, between Ethiopia and South Sudan in the northeast, the Republic of the Congo in the northwest, and northern Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe in the south. An isolated population is also known from Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Within this region it inhabits savannah habitats, river valleys and woodland.

The bat is insectivorous, feeding in flight. Its echolocation calls last five to ten milliseconds, and sweep from 27 down to 19 kHz.