Thursday, March 29, 2012

Animal Fun Fact: The Honduran White Bat

HONDURAN WHITE BAT (Ectophylla alba)

The Honduran white bat has snow white fur and a pig-like yellow nose and ears. It is tiny, only 1-1/2” - 2” long (3.7-4.7cm)—that’s about the size of a ping pong ball. The only member of the genus Ectophylla, it is found in Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and western Panama. It feeds at least in part on fruit.

The Honduran white bat cuts the side veins extending out from the midrib of the large leave of the Heliconia plant causing the leaves to fold down and form a ‘tent’. They cling to the roof of this tent in small colonies of up to half a dozen individuals, consisting of one male and a harem of females. The tent protects them from rain and predators. Most tent-making bats take flight at even slight disturbances, but researchers in Costa Rica have reported that Honduran white bats take flight only when the main stem of their tent is disturbed, possibly because they are well camouflaged. Although their tents are typically low to the ground (about six feet), sunlight filters through the leaf which gives their white fur a greenish cast. This almost completely conceals them if they remain still. It has been suggested a colony may have a number of tents scattered within the forest. It is one of 15 species of Latin American bats that roost in tents.

Plus, they're pretty much the cutest bat in all of existence. <3

Love and Lightning Bugs,

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