Cuban greater funnel-eared bat

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

The Cuban greater funnel-eared bat (Natalus primus) is a species of funnel-eared bat. It is endemic to a cave on Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Pines) in Cuba.[2] Natalus primus is a member of the order Chiroptera and the family Natalidae.[3]


The bats within the genus Natalus have had a complex taxonomic history due to its morphological conservatism.[4] 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.[5]


The Cuban greater funnel-eared bat has funnel-like ears and a tail as long as the head and body combined.[6] The dimensions/measurements collected on the Cuban greater funnel-eared bat (Natalus primus) were recorded as given. Legs were shorter than the forearm, dorsal hair length was 8–9 mm long, ventral hair length was 7–8 mm long, a single hair was divided into three different colors going from dark on the base, light in the middle, and the tip a little darker than the middle.[7] 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.[8]

These bats have a diet consisting largely of moths, crickets, and beetles.[9] In 1992, the first living population was discovered in a cave in Cueva La Barca.[6] Caribbean hurricanes early in the evolutionary history of Natalids may account for specialized cave roosting.[10]


When Harold E. Anthony described this species in 1919, he thought it was an extinct form[11][12] 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.[6] Natalus primus is considered vulnerable and only inhabits one cave in Cueva La Barca on Isla de la Juventud island and province.[13] The population is abundant in that single cave, but this species is likely to go extinct due to its limited dispersal range,[6] human disturbance and loss of habitat.[14] It is estimated that there are only 100 mature individuals.[9]

This species is known to have become extirpated throughout most of Cuba suggesting a population decline that may have continued until the present.[15] The survival of Cuban bats is threatened by forest destruction and cave modification.[16]

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.[6] Cave-dwelling Cuban bat species conservation should be a cooperative effort promoting research and habitat management.[16]


  1. ^ Mancina, C. (2016). "Natalus primus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T136777A22032828. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T136777A22032828.en.
  2. ^ Dávalos, L. & Mancina, C. (2008). "Natalus primus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2008. Retrieved 31 August 2013.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Edge - Cuban Greater Funnel-Eared Bat (Natalus primus)". The Zoological Society of London. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  7. ^ Tejedor, Adrian. (2005). A new species of funnel-eared bat (Natalidae : Natalus) from Mexico. Journal of Mammalogy - J MAMMAL
  8. ^ "Funnel-Eared Bats: Natalidae - Funnel-eared Bat (natalus Stramineus): Species Account". Net Industries. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  9. ^ a b "The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species - Natalus primus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Anthony, H. E. (1919). Mammals collected in eastern Cuba in 1917. With descriptions of two new species. Bulletin of American Museum of Natural History 41: 625-643.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund - Conservation Outcomes - Caribbean Islands". Conservation International. Archived from the original on 2014-02-16. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  14. ^ "The world's 100 most threatened species - Are they priceless or worthless?". Wildlife Extra. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  15. ^ 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. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  16. ^ 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.

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