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American Leaf-Nosed Bats: Phyllostomidae - White Bat (ectophylla Alba): Species Accounts

vampire june accessed science

Physical characteristics: These bats are relatively small, with a combined head and body length of 1.6 to 1.9 inches (4 to 4.7 centimeters). They are named for the color of their fur. The hair over their entire body is white to a light gray tinge. A ring of dark gray hair surrounds the eyes. Ears and noseleaf are yellow.

Geographic range: White bats are found from eastern Honduras to western Panama.

Habitat: White bats live in moist or wet tropical forests. They roost in makeshift tents about 6.5 feet (2 meters) above the ground.

Diet: White bats eat figs and other fruits.

White bats roost in a "tent" they made from a heliconia leaf in the rainforest of Costa Rica. (© Michael & Patricia Fogden/Corbis. Reproduced by permission.)

Behavior and reproduction: White bats modify leaves of plants in the relatively low-growing plants of forests to make roosts. These bats chew the large leaves, nipping the center so that the two sides of the leaf fold downward to form a "tent," under which the bats gather. The bats have been found roosting singly and in groups of two, four, and six.

White bat females apparently bear only a single young. In Costa Rica, females give birth in April. The males were observed sharing a tent with females until the young were born.

White bats and people: There is no known connection between white bats and people.

Conservation status: The IUCN Red List categorizes the white bat as Near Threatened, or close to becoming threatened. ∎



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Tomlinson, Denise. "Natural History of the Vampire Bat." The Organization for Bat Conservation at Cranbrook Institute of Science. http://www.batconservation.org/content/meetourbats/vampire.htm (accessed on June 21, 2004).

"Phyllostomidae." Animal Diversity Web. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Phyllostomidae.html (accessed on June 21, 2004).

"Vampire Bats." NationalGeographic.com. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/kids/creature_feature/0110/vampirebats.html (accessed on June 21, 2004).

[back] American Leaf-Nosed Bats: Phyllostomidae - Pallas's Long-tongued Bat (glossophaga Soricina): Species Accounts

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