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Artibeus sp. Tortuguero National Park crop.jpg
Artibeus sp., Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Phyllostomidae
Subfamily: Stenodermatinae
Genus: Artibeus
Leach, 1821

Artibeus aequatorialis
Artibeus amplus
Artibeus concolor
Artibeus fimbriatus
Artibeus fraterculus
Artibeus hirsutus
Artibeus inopinatus
Artibeus jamaicensis
Artibeus lituratus
Artibeus obscurus
Artibeus planirostris
Artibeus schwartzi

The Neotropical fruit bats (Artibeus) are a genus of bats within the subfamily Stenodermatinae.[1] The genus consists of 12 species, which are native to Central and South America, as well as parts of the Caribbean.


These bats grow to an average length of 5 to 10 cm, and a weight of 10 to 85 g. The fur is colored brown or gray on the top; the bottom side is brighter. In a few species, the faces have four light-colored stripes. The patagium, the skin between the legs, is very small, and they lack a tail – a general characteristic of the fruit bats. The ears are acuminated and like many other leaf-nosed bats the nose bears a small, sharp leaf which is used for echolocation.

Geographical distribution and habitat[edit]

Neotropical fruit bats are found in an area that reaches from the north of Mexico and the Bahamas, to northern Argentina, the Caribbean islands included. They live in different natural habitats and can be found in both forests and grasslands.

Diet, reproduction and social behaviour[edit]

Like most bats, Neotropical fruit bats are nocturnal. They sleep in caves, houses, or other hideouts. Some species use large leaves to form "tents", which provide shelter from the weather and hide them from predators. Most species live in large groups. Artibeus jamaicensis – the best studied species – forms groups, consisting of one to three males, three to 14 females, and the shared offspring.

The diet of these bats mainly consists of fruit, but they eat pollen and insects too.

Little is known about the reproduction of many species. A. jamaicensis has a gestation period of usually 112 to 120 days that can be extended up to 180 days due to dormancy. The offspring usually consists of one young, which is weaned after two months and becomes sexually mature at an age of eight to twelve months. Captured bats can live up to ten years.


The genus of the Neotropical fruit bats is divided into two sub-genera (Artibeus and Koopmania.

Genus Artibeus - Neotropical fruit bats


  1. ^ Simmons, Nancy B. (2005), "Chiroptera", in Wilson, Don E.; Reeder, DeeAnn M. (eds.), Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed), Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 312–529, ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0, retrieved 25 September 2009
  • Ronald M. Nowak: Walker's Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 1999, ISBN 0-8018-5789-9.

External links[edit]

  • Jorge Ortega, Iván Castro-Arellano (2001): Artibeus jamaicensis. Mammalian Species No. 662, American Society of Mammalogists.