Mormoops megalophylla (Ghost-faced Bat)

Weight: 13-19 grams

Wingspan: 36-38 centimeters

[Call File Not Yet Available]

[Spectrograph]

Distribution:

Southern Arizona and Texas, throughout most of Mexico (except northwestern region), then southward into Central America.

Ecology and Behavior:

Ghost-faced bats usually occur in lowland areas, especially desert scrub and riverine habitats, where they often roost in caves, tunnels, and mine shafts, but they also have been found in old buildings. Although they may congregate in large numbers at a roosting site, this species tends not to form compact clusters. Instead, members of the colony roost singly spread about 15 centimeters (6 inches) apart over the ceiling of a cave. When asleep, individuals rest with the back arched and the head tucked almost to the chest. The ghost-faced bat emerges late in the evening and its flight is strong and swift. In Mexico, this species may be so abundant that it produces large deposits of guano (feces). This material, rich in nitrogen from the exoskeletons of the insects upon which the bats feed, is used by the local people as fertilizer.

Food Habits:

Large moths and other insects are consumed.

Reproduction and Longevity:

One baby is born in late May or early June.

Status of Populations:

It is a common winter resident in caves along the southern edge of the Edwards Plateau, Texas. However, its occurrence at specific localities is highly variable and unpredictable.

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.