The Difference Between Megabats and Microbats

There are several thousand bat species in the world; however, all bat species can be classified into one of two suborders, mega or micro bats. Many people are unaware that there are bats that do not use echolocation; or would be surprised to hear that some bats have fur, whereas others do not. Continue reading to learn the major differences between megabats and microbats; as well as, examples of certain species in each suborder.


Microchiroptera is the scientific name for micro bat species. They are also known as small bats, true bats, echolocation bats, or insectivorous bats. Although these are the common names we use to refer to microbats, most of these terms are inaccurate. For example, not all microbats are smaller than megabats. Also, some microbats do not even feed on insects.

Indeed, some microbats do not eat insects; however, most do consume insects for food. Larger species of micro bats hunt lizards, frogs, and even small birds. Vampire bats, scientifically referred to as Desmodus Rotundus, have a dietary trait call hemotophagy. This means their primary food source is blood; usually of other animals.

Micro-bats use echolocation, also called bio sonar. This is a system in which sound waves are produced to create echoes that allows an animal to locate and identify objects. Echolocating bats call out to the surrounding environment, and then listen for the echoes to return. It is a system that basically helps them navigate where they are and where they are going; like eyesight without eyes. The larynx generates an ultrasound that is emitted through their noses or mouths. It is a fascinating and effective way to pilot mid-flight.

Certain species of microbats include Leaf-Nosed Bats, Vampire Bats, Bumblebee Bats, Vesper Bats, Funnel Eared Bats, Mouse-Tailed Bats, Horseshoe Bats, Pallid Bats, Disk-Winged Bats, Smoky Bats, Bulldog Bats, Fisherman Bats, and more.


Megachiroptera is the scientific name for megabat species. They are also referred to as Flying Foxes or Fruit Bats. These bats are interesting because they do not eat insects or drink blood; rather, they feast on nectar and fruits. They have strong and sharp teeth that allow them to bite through tough fruit skins. Some bats drink the juice; while others eat the fruit.

Megabats have a heightened and powerful sense of smell; which is good considering they do not use echolocation like their cousin the microbat. Instead, mega-bats have very large eyes that help them familiarize themselves with their surroundings in twilight, caves, and forested areas.

Common species of megabat include Tube-Nosed Fruit Bats, Pygmy Fruit Bats, Spotted-Winged Fruit Bat, Borneo Fruit Bat, Short-Nosed Fruit Bat, Small White-Winged Flying Fox, Short-Nosed Fruit Bat, Madagascan Fruit Bat, Black Bellied Fruit Bat, Monkey-Faced Bat, Black Flying Fox, Nectar Bat, Small-Toothed Fruit Bat, and much more.

If you are experiencing problems at home or work with microbats or megabats, call Bat Removal Indianapolis at 317-535-4605 in Indiana, today. We are DNR licensed and insured bat control specialists that only use safe and humane capture and release methods to get rid if bats in residential or commercial properties. Visit our website at for details about our services and company background. Trust our professional bat exclusion technicians to get rid of bats in Indianapolis, IN right now!