Nyctophilus howensis McKean

Lord Howe Long-eared Bat (Nyctophilus howensis)  

The Lord Howe Long-eared Bat, described in 1975, is known from a single subfossil specimen, an incomplete skull that had been found some years prior on a ledge in the Gooseberry Cave on Lord Howe Island; the age of this skull was estimated to be between 100 and 50 years.

There is also an account from the late 1800s that may be referrable to this species.:

The only indigenous lower mammals existing on Lord Howe are bats, but even these are not plentiful. A single specimen of Scotophilus morio, Gray [Chocolate Wattled Bat (Chalinolobus morio (Gray))], similar to those obtained by Morton was shot by Mr. Unwin, and a larger species was occasionally seen. The “gardens” and other clearings are their favourite haunts, but they are sometimes seen flying around the cottages.” [1]

All attempts to find additional bone material or even living specimens of the species were unsuccessful and it is now considered extinct.


The photo below shows the closely related Lesser Long-eared Bat (Nyctophilus geoffreyi Leach) which is found in continental Australia where it appears to be quite common and widespread.


Lesser Long-eared Bat (Nyctophilus geoffreyi)

Photo: Isaac Clarey



[1] Robert Etheridge: The general zoology of Lord Howe Island; containing also an account of the collections made by the Australian Museum Collecting Party, Aug.-Sept., 1887. Australian Museum Memoir 2(1): 1-42. 1889


edited: 27.02.2024