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New Zealand Bat-fly - Facts, Habitat, Diet and Information

New Zealand Bat-fly facts and info. Know New Zealand Bat-fly food regimen, habitat, behaviour taxonomy, and many others See attention-grabbing facts of New Zealand Bat-fly in our animal facts archive.

Scientific identify: Mystacinobia zelandica
Scientific classification: Phylum: Arthropoda, Class: Insecta, Order: Diptera, Family: Mystacinobiidae

What does it appear to be? The bat-fly is a wingless insect with rudimentary eyes and elaborate claws. The stomach of the ####ually mature females is swollen with ovaries and eggs. 

Where does it dwell? This fly is discovered solely on the northern tip of New Zealand’s North Island and solely in affiliation with the quick-tailed bat, which lives in hole bushes.


Bats the world over are coveted by quite a lot of freeloaders. One group of animals particularly has been very profitable in exploiting these small nocturnal mammals. Numerous fly species, generally referred to as bat-flies, dwell on bats, sometimes sucking their blood with piercing mouthparts.

However, on the island of New Zealand, there exists a bat-fl y that may be very totally different from the norm and that has struck up a exceptional relationship with the quick-tailed bat, which can also be native to New Zealand.

Caves and different rocky nooks are briefly provide on the northern tip of New Zealand’s North Island, so the quick-tailed bat has taken to dwelling within the hollows inside massive bushes, similar to the large, primitive kauris. In these woody refuges, the bats dwell collectively in small roosts.

Alongside the bats lives the New Zealand bat-fly, additionally in small colonies. The feminine flies within the colony lay their eggs collectively in a nursery, and when the younger maggots hatch they, too, keep shut collectively. Unlike different bat-flies, the New Zealand bat-fly doesn't suck the blood of the bats it lives with, as a substitute it gorges on the flying mammal’s droppings. This excrement accumulates within the backside of the roost and is named guano. On this nutritious food regimen the flies have time to interact in social actions. As the grownup flies and their younger dwell facet by facet within the bat roost, the females will usually sidle over to the crèche to groom their off spring. The adults can even groom one another, cleansing and caressing their colony mates with their forelegs.

Not solely is that this social and maternal habits very peculiar, however there may be additionally what seems to be the beginnings of a caste system, related to the various kinds of particular person present in a colony of ants or termites. In the New Zealand bat-fly colony, a number of the males dwell past their regular reproductive age. These aged males tackle the position of colony guards, and if a hungry bat approaches the flies too carefully, the bat shall be met with a cacophony of excessive-frequency buzzing produced by the guards.

Occasionally, a colony of bat-flies will change into too large for the bat roost, so some could have to go away and discovered a brand new colony in one other roost. To do that, they climb aboard one of many resting bats because it dangles from its perch and burrow into the bat’s fur. There they look ahead to the bat to start its nighttime sorties within the hope that they are going to be ferried to one other roost. As many as 10 bat-flies can go away the nest on this method, clinging to the fur of 1 bat.

Key Facts

  • The New Zealand bat-fl y is sort of not like the everyday bat-flies present in different components of the world. The New Zealand bat-fly is definitely extra carefully associated to the flies referred to as blue bottles and inexperienced bottles.
  • The species (Mystacinobia zelandica) was solely found in 1973 by Beverly Holloway, a New Zealand entomologist, when an enormous kauri tree within the Omahuta Kauri sanctuary fell over and an examination of its hollows revealed a roost of quick-tailed bats and their fl y cohabitants.
  • No different species of fl y reveals this stage of social habits and maternal care.
  • The flies have been very profitable at profiting from birds and mammals. Several varieties, referred to as keds, dwell on a variety of mammal species, together with home species like sheep. Many of these extremely modified flies transfer in a short time and with a sideways crablike gait. For people who work with sheep, the sheep ked is an disagreeable component of their job as its chew is especially painful. Other species dwell on birds and have change into very flattened, which permits them to slip beneath the feathers of their avian hosts. Like fleas, the parasitic flies thrive on these animals that construct nests, which offers security and food for his or her younger.
  • The bat-fly and the quick-tailed bat are two examples of the distinctive fauna of New Zealand that has developed due to geological processes. Many thousands and thousands of years in the past, New Zealand, Australia, Antarctica, and South America had been fused into an enormous landmass referred to as Gondwanaland. The animals and vegetation of this landmass developed alongside a really totally different path from these of the Northern Hemisphere. When Gondwanaland spit into the landmasses we see right this moment, the fl ora and fauna the landmasses carried developed nonetheless additional, however in isolation. Australia and South America have marsupials and an abundance of distinctive flowers. Antarctica was in all probability very related, however its sluggish drift southward noticed it fall into an icy grip. New Zealand, for some motive, had no land mammals aside from bats, and these could have colonized at a later date. In isolation, life flourished, free from the tooth and claw of predatory mammals. Birds took to dwelling on the bottom. Insects developed to fi ll the niches occupied in different components of the world by small mammals, and a bunch of primitive vegetation flourished within the cool, moist local weather. Sadly, this paradise was not to final ceaselessly, and the arrival of people, first Polynesians and then Europeans, spelled devastation and extinction.
  • A second species of New Zealand bat-fly lived in affiliation with the better shorttailed bat, however each grew to become extinct when rats invaded Big South Cape Island in 1965.