Bat Development

From Embryology
Embryology - 16 Nov 2018    Facebook link Pinterest link Twitter link  Expand to Translate  
Google Translate - select your language from the list shown below (this will open a new external page)

العربية | català | 中文 | 中國傳統的 | français | Deutsche | עִברִית | हिंदी | bahasa Indonesia | italiano | 日本語 | 한국어 | မြန်မာ | Pilipino | Polskie | português | ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਦੇ | Română | русский | Español | Swahili | Svensk | ไทย | Türkçe | اردو | ייִדיש | Tiếng Việt    These external translations are automated and may not be accurate. (More? About Translations)


Short-tailed fruit bat Carollia perspicillata
Short-tailed fruit bat Carollia perspicillata (embryonic stage 19)[1]

The bat (chiroptera) family consists of about 1,000 species throughout the world today (90 in Australia) and is not a common model of mammalian embryonic development.

The taxon chiroptera can also be further divided into the Megachiroptera (flying foxes) and Microchiroptera suborders. Echolocation sounds have been shown to differ in Microchiroptera (vocal cords) and Megachiroptera (tongue clicks).

Bat Development: Craniofacial Development Carollia perspicillata Stage 10-13 | Stage 12-17 | Stage 18-23 | Stage 19 Movie | Miniopterus schreibersii fuliginosus Stage 13-17 | Limb Stage 13-17 | Limb Growth Stage 13-17 | Stage 18-23 | Hipposideros pratti Stage 11-22 | Hendra Virus | Category:Bat

Some Recent Findings

  • Dicephalic Parapagus Conjoined Twins in a Large Fruit-eating Bat[2] "Conjoined twinning is an embryological anomaly rarely reported in wild mammals and with only two previous records in Chiroptera. Here, we report a case of dicephalic parapagus conjoined twins in the Neotropical phyllostomid genus Artibeus. These twins are males and present separated heads and necks, but a conjoined trunk with an expanded upper thoracic region. They developed two complete forelimbs and two complete hindlimbs, all laterally to the trunk. There is a volume in the upper midback and between the heads that resembles a third rudimentary medial forelimb, but X-ray images only suggest the presence of medial skeletal elements of the pectoral girdle (clavicle and scapulae) in this region. The X-ray images also show that vertebral columns run separated from head until the base of lumbar region, where they form a single structure. Using ultrasound images, we detected the presence of two similarly sized and apparently separated hearts." twinning
  • Ovulation, fertilization, and early embryonic development in the menstruating fruit bat, Carollia perspicillata[3] "Graafian follicles developed large antra and exhibited preovulatory expansion of the cumulus oophorus. Ovulation had occurred in some on the morning, and in most by the evening, of day 1. The single ovum was released as a secondary oocyte and fertilized in the oviductal ampulla. Ovulated secondary oocytes were loosely associated with their cumulus cells, which were lost around the initiation of fertilization. Supernumerary spermatozoa were occasionally noted attached to the zonae pellucidae of oviductal ova, but never within the perivitelline space. By day 2, most ova had reached the pronuclear stage and by day 3, early cleavage stages. Several lines of evidence indicate that C. perspicillata is a spontaneous ovulator with a functional luteal phase."
  • Contrasting genetic structure in two co-distributed species of old world fruit bat[4] "The fulvous fruit bat (Rousettus leschenaulti) and the greater short-nosed fruit bat (Cynopterus sphinx) are two abundant and widely co-distributed Old World fruit bats in Southeast and East Asia."
  • Digital gene expression tag profiling of bat digits provides robust candidates contributing to wing formation [5] "As the only truly flying mammals, bats use their unique wing - consisting of four elongated digits (digits II-V) connected by membranes - to power their flight. In addition to the elongated digits II-V, the forelimb contains one shorter digit (digit I) that is morphologically similar to the hindlimb digits. Here, we capitalized on the morphological variation among the bat forelimb digits to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying digit elongation and wing formation."
More recent papers  
Mark Hill.jpg
PubMed logo.gif

This table shows an automated computer PubMed search using the listed sub-heading term.

  • Therefore the list of references do not reflect any editorial selection of material based on content or relevance.
  • References appear in this list based upon the date of the actual page viewing.

References listed on the rest of the content page and the associated discussion page (listed under the publication year sub-headings) do include some editorial selection based upon both relevance and availability.

Links: References | Discussion Page | Pubmed Most Recent | Journal Searches

Search term: Fruit Bat Embryology

Anuradha, Amitabh Krishna Adiposity associated changes in serum glucose and adiponectin levels modulate ovarian steroidogenesis during delayed embryonic development in the fruit bat, Cynopterus sphinx. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol.: 2018; PubMed 29474936

Elisa Fiume, Olivier Coen, Wenjia Xu, Loïc Lepiniec, Enrico Magnani Developmental patterning of sub-epidermal cells in the outer integument of Arabidopsis seeds. PLoS ONE: 2017, 12(11);e0188148 PubMed 29141031

M R Nogueira, A Ventura, C C P da Veiga, L R Monteiro, N L Pinheiro, A L Peracchi Dicephalic parapagus conjoined twins in a large fruit-eating bat, genus Artibeus (Chiroptera, Phyllostomidae). Anat Histol Embryol: 2017; PubMed 28621033

Anuradha, Amitabh Krishna Prolactin modulates luteal activity in the short-nosed fruit bat, Cynopterus sphinx during delayed embryonic development. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol.: 2017; PubMed 28412388

Olivier Coen, Elisa Fiume, Wenjia Xu, Delphine De Vos, Jing Lu, Christine Pechoux, Loïc Lepiniec, Enrico Magnani Developmental patterning of the sub-epidermal integument cell layer in Arabidopsis seeds. Development: 2017, 144(8);1490-1497 PubMed 28348169


Bat - rhinolophus smithersi


Genbank common name: bats

Taxonomy Id: 9397 Rank: order

Genetic code: Translation table 1 (Standard)

Mitochondrial genetic code: Translation table 2 (Vertebrate Mitochondrial)

Lineage( abbreviated ): Eukaryota; Fungi/Metazoa group; Metazoa; Eumetazoa; Bilateria; Coelomata; Deuterostomia; Chordata; Craniata; Vertebrata; Gnathostomata; Teleostomi; Euteleostomi; Sarcopterygii; Tetrapoda; Amniota; Mammalia; Theria; Eutheria; Laurasiatheria

Species Comparison

Carollia perspicillata

  • (short-tailed fruit bat) Ovulation has a 24 hour variation with up to 2 days of variation in oviduct transit time, and gestation period is 113 - 120 days.

Myotis thysanodes and M. lucifugus

  • Ovulation, fertilization, and implantation occur during the first 2 weeks of May and gestation is 50 - 60 days for both species.

Bat embryo (stage 19)

Embryonic Stages - Carollia perspicillata

Embryonic Bat Stages Carollia perspicillata[1]


Key features



Uterus diameter

Crown-rump length



Forelimb buds form; tail bud forms; caudal neuropore closes; 3 pharyngeal arches.



(+/- 0.64)

(+/- 0.42)

(+/- 1.7)


Retinal pigment; nasal pits; end of somitogenesis; propatagium and plagiopatagium primordia; hindlimb AER.



(+/- 0.44)

(+/- 0.24)

(+/- 3.6)


Hand plate and footplate form; lens vesicle; auditory hillocks; premaxillary centers.


(+/- 1.20)

(+/- 0.92)

(+/- 13)


Nose-leaf primordium; pinna and tragus form; forelimb digital condensations, uropatagium primordium.


(+/- 1.45)

(+/- 1.05)

(+/- 30)


Tongue protruding; cervical flexure straightens; hindlimb interdigit tissue receding; eyes begin to close.


(+/- 1.34)

(+/- 1.34)

(+/- 45)


Free thumb; head and body smoother, rounder; eyes half-closed; postaxial flexure at wrist; calcar.


(+/- 0.98)

(+/- 1.16)

(+/- 83)


Distal forelimbs overlap over face; head larger; eyelids cover pigmented retina; claw primordia form.


(+/- 3.54)

(+/- 1.06)

(+/- 156)


Prominent, triangular nose-leaf; eyelids reopening; wing membranes corrugated; claws pigmented, hooked.


(+/- 2.68)

(+/- 0.26)

(+/- 208)


Fetal period commences; eyes completely open; face and nose-leaf pigmenting.


(+/- 0.64)

(+/- 0.06)

(+/- 199)

Values are mean n= 2-6, +/- standard deviation, original table contains more detailed data.

Embryonic Stages

Miniopterus schreibersii fuliginosus

Limb Development

Bat limb 02.jpg

Bat limb 01.jpg

Images of the bat embryo Miniopterus schreibersii fuliginosus at embryonic Stages 13-17.[6]

Bat - adult and fetal limbs.jpg

Bat - adult and fetal limbs[5]

A - Left limbs of adult Myotis ricketti. DI, DII, DIII, DIV and DV represent digits I-V of the forelimb

B, C - Left limbs of Miniopterus schreibersii fuliginosus in the Fetal Stage as an example of samples used for the Myotis ricketti libraries. Libraries Hand DI and Hand DII-V are constructed from forelimb digit I and digits II-V, respectively. Library Foot is constructed from hindlimb digits I-V.

Bar = 1 cm in A; bar = 1 mm in B and C.

Neural Development

Bat - neural development 01.jpg

The short-tailed fruit bat Carollia perspicillata Stage 14 embryo nervous system as identified by neurofilament antibody (brown) staining. Neurofilament is an intermediate filament protein, forming part of the neuronal cytoskeleton.

Historic Images


Australia map - bats and hendra virus

Hendra Virus

  • Hendra virus is a paramyxoviridae (ssRNA negative-strand virus) that mainly infects large fruit bats (flying foxes) which can be passed on to horses.
  • The infection has occasionally been passed onto people who have been in close contact with an infected horse.
  • There is evidence of fetal and placental infection in flying fox[7] and animal models.[8]
  • There is currently insufficient information to determine whether there are developmental effects in humans.

Links: NSW Public Health Sheet 2011 | Viralzone - Paramyxoviridae | Genome | Abnormal Development - Viral Infection

Rabies Virus

Rabies is a fatal encephalitis that can infect humans and is caused by lyssaviruses. Lyssavirus circulation has emerged in Southeast Asian bats.[9]

Links: Viral Infection - Lassa Virus | Abnormal Development - Viral Infection


  1. 1.0 1.1 Cretekos CJ, Weatherbee SD, Chen CH, Badwaik NK, Niswander L, Behringer RR & Rasweiler JJ. (2005). Embryonic staging system for the short-tailed fruit bat, Carollia perspicillata, a model organism for the mammalian order Chiroptera, based upon timed pregnancies in captive-bred animals. Dev. Dyn. , 233, 721-38. PMID: 15861401 DOI.
  2. Nogueira MR, Ventura A, da Veiga CCP, Monteiro LR, Pinheiro NL & Peracchi AL. (2017). Dicephalic Parapagus Conjoined Twins in a Large Fruit-eating Bat, Genus Artibeus (Chiroptera, Phyllostomidae). Anat Histol Embryol , 46, 319-324. PMID: 28621033 DOI.
  3. Rasweiler JJ, Badwaik NK & Mechineni KV. (2011). Ovulation, fertilization, and early embryonic development in the menstruating fruit bat, Carollia perspicillata. Anat Rec (Hoboken) , 294, 506-19. PMID: 21337714 DOI.
  4. Chen J, Rossiter SJ, Flanders JR, Sun Y, Hua P, Miller-Butterworth C, Liu X, Rajan KE & Zhang S. (2010). Contrasting genetic structure in two co-distributed species of old world fruit bat. PLoS ONE , 5, e13903. PMID: 21085717 DOI.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wang Z, Dong D, Ru B, Young RL, Han N, Guo T & Zhang S. (2010). Digital gene expression tag profiling of bat digits provides robust candidates contributing to wing formation. BMC Genomics , 11, 619. PMID: 21054883 DOI.
  6. Wang Z, Han N, Racey PA, Ru B & He G. (2010). A comparative study of prenatal development in Miniopterus schreibersii fuliginosus, Hipposideros armiger and H. pratti. BMC Dev. Biol. , 10, 10. PMID: 20092640 DOI.
  7. Plowright RK, Field HE, Smith C, Divljan A, Palmer C, Tabor G, Daszak P & Foley JE. (2008). Reproduction and nutritional stress are risk factors for Hendra virus infection in little red flying foxes (Pteropus scapulatus). Proc. Biol. Sci. , 275, 861-9. PMID: 18198149 DOI.
  8. Williamson MM, Hooper PT, Selleck PW, Westbury HA & Slocombe RF. (2000). Experimental hendra virus infectionin pregnant guinea-pigs and fruit Bats (Pteropus poliocephalus). J. Comp. Pathol. , 122, 201-7. PMID: 10684689 DOI.
  9. Kis Robertson, Boonlert Lumlertdacha, Richard Franka, Brett Petersen, Saithip Bhengsri, Sununta Henchaichon, Leonard F Peruski, Henry C Baggett, Susan A Maloney, Charles E Rupprecht Rabies-related knowledge and practices among persons at risk of bat exposures in Thailand. PLoS Negl Trop Dis: 2011, 5(6);e1054 PubMed 21738801 | PLoS Negl Trop Dis.


Adams RA. (2008). Morphogenesis in bat wings: linking development, evolution and ecology. Cells Tissues Organs (Print) , 187, 13-23. PMID: 18163246 DOI.

Sears KE. (2008). Molecular determinants of bat wing development. Cells Tissues Organs (Print) , 187, 6-12. PMID: 18160799 DOI.

Bernard RT & Cumming GS. (1997). African bats: evolution of reproductive patterns and delays. Q Rev Biol , 72, 253-74. PMID: 9293029

Rasweiler JJ. (1993). Pregnancy in chiroptera. J. Exp. Zool. , 266, 495-513. PMID: 8371094 DOI.


Chen CH, Cretekos CJ, Rasweiler JJ & Behringer RR. (2005). Hoxd13 expression in the developing limbs of the short-tailed fruit bat, Carollia perspicillata. Evol. Dev. , 7, 130-41. PMID: 15733311 DOI.

Rasweiler JJ & Badwaik NK. (1996). Improved procedures for maintaining and breeding the short-tailed fruit bat (Carollia perspicillata) in a laboratory setting. Lab. Anim. , 30, 171-81. PMID: 8783180 DOI.

Search Pubmed: bat development | chiroptera development

Additional Images

External Links

External Links Notice - The dynamic nature of the internet may mean that some of these listed links may no longer function. If the link no longer works search the web with the link text or name. Links to any external commercial sites are provided for information purposes only and should never be considered an endorsement. UNSW Embryology is provided as an educational resource with no clinical information or commercial affiliation.

Megabat | Molecular Phylogeny of Bats in Disarray

Animal Development: axolotl | bat | cat | chicken | cow | dog | dolphin | echidna | fly | frog | grasshopper | guinea pig | hamster | kangaroo | koala | lizard | medaka | mouse | pig | platypus | rabbit | rat | sea squirt | sea urchin | sheep | worm | zebrafish | life cycles | development timetable | development models | K12
Historic Embryology  
1897 Pig | 1900 Chicken | 1901 Lungfish | 1904 Sand Lizard | 1905 Rabbit | 1906 Deer | 1907 Tarsiers | 1908 Human | 1909 Northern Lapwing | 1909 South American and African Lungfish | 1910 Salamander | 1951 Frog | Embryology History | Historic Disclaimer

Glossary Links

Glossary: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Numbers | Symbols | Term Link

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2018, November 16) Embryology Bat Development. Retrieved from

What Links Here?
© Dr Mark Hill 2018, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G