painted bat, Kerivoula picta (4)

photo: Bob Cornes

painted bat, Kerivoula picta (1)

photo: ghirahim

Habitat: Brunei, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam
Status: Least Concern

This has got to be one of the most stunning mammals I’ve ever seen! Who knew that bats could look like they were hand painted? I think it’s pretty ironic that the ‘artist’ chose to use Halloween colors, too!

The Painted Bat (Kerivoula picta), as it is aptly named, is a small species of bat that grows to have a body length of  3 to 5.5 cm, tail length of 3 to 5.5 cm, and a wingspan of 18–30 cm. They’re tiny yet stunningly colored with bright orange or scarlet bodies, black wings and orange along the fingers.

The reason for the unique coloration is due to the fact that these bats like to roost in vulnerable locations such as in the suspended nests of weaver finches and sunbirds or under the eaves of African huts. The bright colors act as a warning to other creatures that this is a “scary bat” and to leave it alone. Scary isn’t a word I would use to describe these guys, however. More like adorable!!