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Cuban greater funnel-eared bat

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Cuban greater funnel-eared bat
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Natalidae
Genus: Natalus
N. primus
Binomial name
Natalus primus
(Anthony, 1919)

The Cuban greater funnel-eared bat (Natalus primus) is a species of funnel-eared bat. It is endemic to a cave in westernmost Cuba.[1][2]


The bats within the genus Natalus have had a complex taxonomic history due to its morphological conservatism.[3] The taxonomy of Natalidae has been recently updated by the discovery and rediscovery of live species and fossils, and on the basis of new morphological and molecular evidence.[4]


The Cuban greater funnel-eared bat has funnel-like ears and a tail as long as the head and body combined.[5] The legs are shorter than the forearm, dorsal hair length is 8–9 millimetres (0.31–0.35 in), ventral hair length is 7–8 millimetres (0.28–0.31 in) long. Each hair is divided into three different color bands going from dark on the base, light in the middle, and the tip a little darker than the middle.[6] They have black, stiff hairs above the upper lip, much like a moustache, and white hairs below the lower lip. They have tan and reddish-brown fur with a paler belly.[citation needed]

They have a diet consisting largely of moths, crickets, and beetles.[1] In 1992, the first living population was discovered in a cave in Cueva La Barca.[5] Caribbean hurricanes early in the evolutionary history of Natalids may account for specialized cave roosting.[7]


When Harold E. Anthony described this species in 1919, he thought it was an extinct form[8][9] because it was only known from fossil localities on Cuba, on Isla de la Juventud, Grand Cayman and various islands in the Bahamas. In 1992, a living population has been rediscovered.[5] Natalus primus is considered vulnerable and only inhabits one cave in Cueva La Barca on Isla de la Juventud island and province.[10] The population is abundant in that single cave, but this species is likely to go extinct due to its limited dispersal range,[5] human disturbance and loss of habitat.[11] It is estimated that there are only a few thousand individuals.[1]

This species is known to have become extirpated throughout most of Cuba suggesting a population decline that may have continued until the present.[12] The survival of Cuban bats is threatened by forest destruction and cave modification.[13]

Habitat loss through erosion is a major concern. The ongoing collapse of the cave roof is likely to upset the thermal balance in this hot cave and result in Natalus primus extinction.[5] Cave-dwelling Cuban bat species conservation should be a cooperative effort promoting research and habitat management.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d Mancina, C. (2016). "Natalus primus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T136777A22032828. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T136777A22032828.en. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Mammal's Planet - Species Sheet - Cuban Greater Funnel-eared Bat, Cuban Yellow Bat". Ch Boudet. Archived from the original on 2014-03-01. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  3. ^ López-Wilchis, Ricardo; Luis M. Guevara-Chumacero; Neófito ángeles Pérez; Javier Juste; Carlos Ibáñez; Irene D. L. A. Barriga-Sosa (December 2012). "Taxonomic status assessment of the Mexican populations of funnel-eared bats, genus Natalus (Chiroptera: Natalidae)". Acta Chiropterologica. 2. 14 (2): 305–316. doi:10.3161/150811012x661639. hdl:10261/72462. S2CID 85765304.
  4. ^ Tejedor, Adrian (2011). "Systematics of funnel-eared bats (Chiroptera: Natalidae)" (PDF). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 353: 1–140. doi:10.1206/636.1. hdl:2246/6120. S2CID 84311591.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Cuban Greater Funnel-Eared Bat (Natalus primus)". EDGE. The Zoological Society of London. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  6. ^ Tejedor, Adrian (2005). "A new species of funnel-eared bat (Natalidae: Natalus) from Mexico". Journal of Mammalogy. 86 (6): 1109–1120. doi:10.1644/1545-1542(2005)86[1109:ANSOFB]2.0.CO;2.
  7. ^ Dávalos, LM (October 2005). "Molecular phylogeny of funnel-eared bats (Chiroptera: Natalidae), with notes on biogeography and conservation". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 37 (1): 91–103. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.04.024. PMID 15967682.
  8. ^ Anthony, Harold Elmer (1919). "Mammals collected in eastern Cuba in 1917: with descriptions of two new species". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 41: 625–643, 3 plates. hdl:2246/1358.
  9. ^ Allen, Glover M. (1942), Extinct and vanishing mammals of the western hemisphere, with the marine species of all the oceans, American Committee for International Wild Life Protection, pp. 29–30.
  10. ^ "Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund - Conservation Outcomes - Caribbean Islands". Conservation International. Archived from the original on 2014-02-16. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  11. ^ "The world's 100 most threatened species - Are they priceless or worthless?". Wildlife Extra. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  12. ^ Tejedor, Ardian; Valeria DA C. Tavares; Gilberto Silva-Taboada (2005-10-27). "A revision of extant Greater Antillean bats of the genus Natalus". American Museum Novitates (3493): 1–22. doi:10.1206/0003-0082(2005)493[0001:AROEGA]2.0.CO;2. S2CID 54911652. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  13. ^ a b Mancina, Carlos; Làzrao Echenique-Diaz; Adrian Tejedor; Lainet Garcìa; Angel Daniel-Alvarez; Miguel Ortega-Huerta (2007). "Endemics under threat: an assessment of the conservation status of Cuban bats". Hystrix: The Italian Journal of Mammalogy. 18 (1). Retrieved 2014-02-23.