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The Australasian Bat Society, Inc. has decided that it is important to maintain an up-to-date taxonomic list of Australian bats. The list will be updated periodically when taxonomic changes are published or if new Australian records are found.  It can be confusing to decide which name to use, and we hope this list addresses that deficiency, and the confusion that may stem from having different names in different authoritative texts.  The list also indicates those taxa that are either known to require revision or that are being currently worked on.  


The list was compiled and will be maintained by a team of bat taxonomists, with decisions based on their interpretation of published works, and be consistent with the International Code for Zoological Nomenclature (1999). Differences in taxonomic opinion, or different interpretations of the same data are a normal part of taxonomic research and this list reflects a majority view.  


To keep things simple, we have avoided listing every available synonym for each species, or the nomenclature that is included under Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation—we each have only one lifetime, and some of this information can be found in the book "Mammals of Australia" (Van Dyck and Strahan 2008), and by referring to the relevant legislation.


Common names are not fixed in the way that scientific names are, so different common names for the same species are sometimes adopted to reflect regional preferences. However, consistent use of common names across the nation would be helpful. We have listed the most widely used common name for each species or subspecies, but we have suggested several changes that we think better reflect geographic distributions (to lessen the confusion), that agree with grammatical conventions, and that make the names succinct.


At this stage, the geographic scope of this list is the Australian mainland, Tasmania, all in-shore islands, off-shore islands including, Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, but excludes the Torres Strait islands that have been poorly surveyed, especially those larger islands near the Papua New Guinean coast. Later we may extend this service for Australasia beyond Australia.


The list includes a count for easy reference to the number of species occurring in Australia (see the bottom of the list).  


There is also a clickable link to take you to the IUCN Red List page for that particular species.  Here you can cross reference the ABS list of names with what the IUCN is listing them under.  You might also need to check what a species is listed as under the Commonwealth EPBC Act 1999 or your State/Territory legislation.  Note that the IUCN and EPBC names and species accounts are not updated as quickly as the taxonomic literature or this ABS list, so if you need to use nomenclature that is correct according to both the current taxonomy and the relevant IUCN/EPBC/State/Territory listing (for example, in environmental impact assessments), you can simply refer to both and then discuss further if there is an issue; for example: Mormopterus lumsdenae (=M. beccarii); and as a second example: Miniopterus orianae bassanii (=M. schreibersii bassanii under the EPBC Act 1999; =M. oceanensis in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species).


Thank you for using and citing this list.  


What version is the current list?


Version 2015-05-15


To cite this list:


Reardon, T.B., Armstrong, K.N. and Jackson, S.M. (2015). A current taxonomic list of Australian Chiroptera. Australasian Bat Society, Inc. Version 2015-05-15. URL:


The previous version of this list, which discussed various issues of nomenclature, is cited below with a download link:


Armstrong, K. and Reardon, T. (2006). Standardising common names of bats in Australia. The Australasian Bat Society Newsletter 26: 37–42. URL:


The current taxonomic list of Australian Chiroptera