Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Mammals » Disk-Winged Bats: Thyropteridae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Spix's Disk-winged Bat (thyroptera Tricolor): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, DISK-WINGED BATS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

Disk-Winged Bats: Thyropteridae - Spix's Disk-winged Bat (thyroptera Tricolor): Species Account

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Physical characteristics: Fur color of Spix's disk-winged bats ranges from dark brown to reddish brown. Their undersides are a cream or yellow, and their ears are blackish. The sides of their bodies are an intermediate color, which is why they were given the name tricolor, which means to have three colors. These bats weight about 0.14 ounces (4 grams). They have a head and body length combined of 1 to 1.5 inches (2.7 to 3.8 centimeters). Females are slightly larger than males.


Geographic range: Spix's disk-winged bats are found in tropical forests from Veracruz, Mexico to southeast Brazil.

Spix's disk-winged bat roosts with its head upright. Most other bats, besides disk-winged bats, hang upside down. (Brock Fenton. Reproduced by permission.)

Habitat: Spix's disk-winged bats have been found in rainforests, swamps, and clearings. They have generally been found living below 2,625 feet (800 meters) and have not been recorded living above 4,265 feet (1,300 meters).


Diet: Spix's disk-winged bats feed on insects, such as small beetles and flies. Spix's bats eat about 20 percent of its weight each night.

Behavior and reproduction: This species roosts in young, partly uncurled leaves. They are found roosting in leaves of heliconia plants, recognizable by their large leaves. Roosts contain about six individual bats, composed of one or more adult males, several females and several juveniles of both sexes. Female Spix's bats have been observed taking their offspring for the evening flight in search of food.

These bats are polygynous, meaning that the bats mate with more than one female at a time. These bats breed twice annually. Gestation (pregnancy) lasts about two months. For the first month of life offspring either remain in the roosts or cling to their mothers when they go out to feed, even though young can weigh up to 46 percent of the mother's weight. Offspring can generally fly after one month.


Spix's disk-winged bats and people: Aside from eating insects some people consider pests, these bats have no known significant relationship with people.


Conservation status: These bats are not considered threatened. ∎

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Books:

Fenton, M. Brock. Bats. New York: Checkmark Press, 2001.

Fenton, M. Brock. The Bat: Wings in the Night Sky. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, 1998.

Nowak, Ronald M. "Disk-winged Bats, or New World Sucker-footed Bats." Walker's Mammals of the World 5.1 Online. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997. http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/walkers_mammals_of_the_world/chiroptera/chiroptera.thyropteridae.thyroptera.html (accessed on July 5, 2004).

Richardson, Phil. Bats. London: Whittet Books, 1985.

Ruff, Sue and Don E. Wilson. Bats. New York: Benchmark Books, 2001.

Schober, Wilfried and Eckard Grimmberger. The Bats of Europe and North America. Neptune City, NJ: T.F.H. Publications, Inc., 1997.

Periodicals:

Reebs, Stephen. "Sticky Situation." Natural History (June 2002): 16.

Milius, Susan. "Save Our Sounds: In Some Libraries, Noise is Good." Science News (September 14, 2002): 16.

Web sites:

Clarke, Diana. "Nomads of the New World Tropics." The Sun and Your Skin. http://yourskinandsun.com/article1091.html (accessed on July 5, 2004).

"Discover the Secret World of Bats." Bat Conservation International, Inc. http://www.batcon.org (accessed on July 5, 2004).

Weinstein, B., and P. Myers. "Family Thyropteridae (Disc-Winged Bats)." Animal Diversity Web. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Thyropteridae.html (accessed on July 5, 2004).

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