Leptonycteris curasoae (Lesser Long-nosed Bat)

Weight: 21-23 grams

Wingspan: 36-40 centimeters

[Call File Not Yet Available]



Southwestern United States to southern Mexico.

Ecology and Behavior:

A resident of desert-scrub country, the Lesser Long-nosed Bat is colonial, occupying mines and caves at the base of mountains where the alluvial fan supports agaves, yuccas, saguaros, and organ pipe cacti. It hangs with its feet so close together it can turn nearly 360° to watch for predators. Like other leaf-nosed bats, it takes flight when disturbed. When launching, it gives several strong wing beats, bringing the body into a horizontal position before releasing its grip. It is an agile flier and can fly nearly straight up while maintaining a horizontal body position. Flight is rapid and direct, but the bats can hover momentarily and maneuver well. It emerges within about one hour after sundown. The long tongue, covered with hair-like papillae toward the tip, is well adapted for feeding at flowers. These bats may land on the flowering stalk of agaves and insert their long snouts into each blossom. After feeding, the stomach is so distended the bat appears to be in late pregnancy. When the stomach is filled, they retire to a night roost where they hang and rest. .

Food Habits:

Nectar, pollen, and insects are consumed, but fruits are eaten after the flowering season is past.

Reproduction and Longevity:

One baby is born in late May or June. Maternity colonies may harbor thousands of individuals.

Status of Populations:

The subspecies occurring in the United States, L. c. yerbaduenae, is considered endangered.

Text, in its original form, provided by T. L. Best, M. J. Harvey, and J. S. Altenbach. Printed spectrographs provided by M. J. O'Farrell. Distribution maps, call descriptions, and AnaMusic sound clips produced by W. L. Gannon. Accounts assembled by T. C. Sanchez-Brown.