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Funnel-Eared Bats: Natalidae

Funnel-eared Bat (natalus Stramineus): Species Account

Physical characteristics: Funnel-eared bats, also called Mexican funnel-eared bats, have the funnel-shaped ears that are characteristic of the family. They have long, slender hind legs. They have black, stiff hairs above the upper lip, appearing like a moustache, and white hairs below the lower lip. The natalid organ is shaped like a bell and covers the muzzle, the snout.

Fur color occurs in both a light and a dark phase. The light phase is generally a light to medium tan and the dark phase is a reddish brown. The belly is paler in both phases, and of a similar color.

Funnel-eared bats roost in the darkest areas of caves and mines. (© Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International. Reproduced by permission.)

Geographic range: Funnel-eared bats are found in northern Mexico to eastern Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, Lesser Antilles, and Tres Marias islands off western Mexico.

Habitat: Funnel-eared bats generally live in deciduous forests. They may also live in moister forest areas.

Diet: Funnel-eared bats feed on insects.

Behavior and reproduction: These bats were found roosting in large colonies with thousands of individuals in Venezuela. At high altitudes, some colonies may go into torpor, a dormant state, during the cooler months.

In general, bats of this species roost in the darkest areas of caves and mines. Females form maternity roosts during the breeding season. Gestation, pregnancy, lasts approximately ten months. Offspring are born weighing more than 50 percent of the mother's weight.

Funnel-eared bats and people: There is no known special significance between funnel-eared bats and people.

Conservation status: Funnel-eared bats are not considered threatened by the IUCN. ∎



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. "Funnel-eared 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.natalidae.natalus.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.

Web sites:

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

Simmons, Nancy. "Natalus stramineus, Mexican Funnel-eared Bat." Digi-Morph. http://www.digimorph.org/specimens/Natalus_stramineus/head/ (accessed on July 5, 2004).

Weinstein, B. and P. Myers. "Family Natalidae: Funnel eared bats." Animal Diversity Web. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Natalidae.html (accessed on July 5, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsFunnel-Eared Bats: Natalidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Funnel-eared Bats And People, Funnel-eared Bat (natalus Stramineus): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS