Basilia falcozi

Physical characteristics: Adult spider bat flies have flat bodies, no wings, and resemble six-legged spiders. They have long legs with strong claws. The shiny pupae are black and flattened.

Geographic range: This species is found in Australia.

Habitat: They live on the bodies of cave-dwelling broad-nosed, bent-winged, and big-eared bats.

Diet: Spider bat flies feed on the blood of bats.

Behavior and reproduction: Adults spend most of their lives on the body of their bat host. Females leave the host to deposit a single, fully developed pupa on cave walls and trees near bat roosts. Females will deposit several pupae during their lifetime. Adults emerge from the pupae when they sense the body heat of a nearby bat.

Spider bat flies and people: This species does not impact people or their activities.

Conservation status: This species is not considered endangered or threatened. ■

Spider bat flies live on the bodies of cave-dwelling broad-nosed, bent-winged, and big-eared bats. (Illustration by Jonathan Higgins. Reproduced by permission.)
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