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Sheath-Tailed Bats Sac-Winged Bats and Ghost Bats: Emballonuridae

Greater Sac-winged Bat (saccopteryx Bilineata): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: Greater sac-winged bats are relatively small, with a body length of 1.8 to 2.2 inches (47 to 56 millimeters). These bats are also called greater white-lined bats, referring to the two white lines that run down their bodies. Their fur is typically dark brown, while the underside is typically gray. These bats have dark wings, long noses, and the females are slightly larger than the males.

Geographic range: Greater sac-winged bats live in Central and South America; from south Mexico to southeast Brazil.

The greater sac-winged bat is also called the greater white-lined bat, because of the two white lines that run down the back. (Illustration by Barbara Duperron. Reproduced by permission.)

Habitat: Greater sac-winged bats live in lowland evergreen or semi-deciduous forests. They roost in relatively open areas, such as hollow trees and occasionally in buildings.

Diet: Greater sac-winged bats feed on insects.

Behavior and reproduction: Greater sac-winged bats are among the most common bats seen in the rainforest because they often roost on the outer parts of large trees. They use echolocation to locate their prey and then catch the insects while flying. Echolocation is a process by which the bats emit a variety of sounds and use the echoes from the sounds to identify objects around them. These bats are unusual in that males sing songs to females during the day in their colonies. These bats have been found roosting in relatively large colonies of sixty individuals. Within those colonies there can be smaller groupings of one to nine females. As seasons change, colonies move between different areas to forage for food.

Females give birth to a single offspring each year, typically at the beginning of the rainy season in July or August. It is thought these bats are polygamous, meaning that they have more than one mate during the mating season.

Greater sac-winged bats and people: There is no known significant relationship between greater sac-winged bats and people.

Conservation status: Greater sac-winged bats are not listed as threatened. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsSheath-Tailed Bats Sac-Winged Bats and Ghost Bats: Emballonuridae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Greater Sac-winged Bat (saccopteryx Bilineata): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, EMBALLONURIDS AND PEOPLE, THE FIRS