Leptonycteris nivalis (Greater Long-nosed Bat)

Weight: 23-25 grams

Wingspan: 40-44centimeters

[Call File Not Yet Available]



Big Bend region of Texas, southward across most of Mexico to central Guatemala.

Ecology and Behavior:

This is a colonial cave dweller that usually inhabits deep caverns, but is also found in mines, culverts, hollow trees, and unoccupied buildings. This bat occupies a variety of habitats from high-elevation, pine-oak woodlands to sparsely vegetated deserts. The muzzle is greatly lengthened, and this bat has a long protrusive tongue attached to the sternum posteriorly. There are rows of hair like projections covering the area near the tip of the tongue, which aid in acquiring nectar. It emerges relatively late in the evening to feed. It is an agile flyer, capable of quick maneuvering and relatively high-speed flights. It makes swooshing sounds as it flies and can fly straight up while maintaining a horizontal body position. When foraging at agaves, it crawls down the stalk, thrusts its snout into the flowers, and licks nectar with its long tongue, which can be extended up to 7.5 centimeters, and can reach nectar at the base of the flowers. It emerges from the flowers covered with pollen and is an effective pollinator of many cacti, agaves, and other plants.

Food Habits:

Greater Long-nosed bats primarily feed on nectar, pollen, insects, and soft, succulent fruits of cactus during the non-flowering season.

Reproduction and Longevity:

One baby is born in April, May, or June.

Status of Populations:

It is rare in the United States and 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.