Diadem leaf-nosed Bat (Hipposideros diadema)
This is a large striking-looking special microbat weighing 32 -57 gms. Until 2020 we had only ever had one come into care, Lady Di. She was caught on a barbed wire fence in August 2014 and lost some of the finger bones in her wing. She can still fly a little but we don’t think enough to catch insects on the wing. She has done very well in captivity, eats well and keeps herself well-groomed. One summer she had a moult, losing about 50% of her fur but it quickly grew back as thick as before.
In 2020 we had two more Diademas come into care, both also off barbed wire fences. The first was releasable but the male wasn’t and he is now good company for Lady Di. This species has been described by Sue Churchill as having “a formidable set of teeth, strong jaws for crunching beetles and an unpleasant and tenacious disposition”. We rescued Lady Di from entanglement on a barbed wire fence late in the day, and she has always shown a calm easy disposition. She’s a favourite with the tourists that come through our Visitor Centre, and of us. She readily echolocates to see, as she has extremely small eyes that are probably only used to know if it is night or day. This makes it very easy for us to demonstrate our bat detector and explain echolocation calls. They are a cave-dwelling bat that is endemic to far north-east Queensland.
Watch Lady Di echolocating and eating a katydid (end of this page)