Leaf-nosed bat

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Leaf-nosed bats
Artibeus sp. Tortuguero National Park crop.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Superfamily: Noctilionoidea
Family: Phyllostomidae
Gray, 1825


The New World leaf-nosed bats (Phyllostomidae) are found throughout Central and South America, from Mexico to northern Argentina. They are ecologically the most varied and diverse family within the order Chiroptera. Most species are insectivorous, but the phyllostomid bats include within their number true predatory species as well as frugivores (subfamily Stenodermatinae and Carolliinae). For example, the false vampire (Vampyrum spectrum), the largest bat in the Americas, eats vertebrate prey including small dove-sized birds. Members of this family have evolved to use food groups such as fruit, nectar, pollen, insects, frogs, other bats, and small vertebrates, and, in the case of the vampire bats, even blood.

Both the scientific and common names derive from their often large, lance-shaped noses, greatly reduced in some of the nectar- and pollen-feeders. Because these bats echolocate nasally, this "nose-leaf" is thought to serve some role in modifying and directing the echolocation call. Similar nose-leaves are found in some other groups of bats, most notably the Old World leaf-nosed bats.

New World leaf-nosed bats are usually brown, grey, or black, although one species is white. They range in size from 4 to 13.5 cm (1.6 to 5.3 in) in head-body length, and can weigh from 7 to 200 g (0.25 to 7.05 oz). Most roost in fairly small groups within caves, animal burrows, or hollow trees, although some species aggregate in colonies of several hundred individuals. They do not hibernate, although some species have been reported to aestivate.[1][2]


The 192 described species within 56 genera are:



  1. ^ Macdonald, D., ed. (1984). The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. p. 805. ISBN 0-87196-871-1. 
  2. ^ Wetterer, Andrea L.; et al. (2000). "Phylogeny of Phyllostomid Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera): Data from Diverse Morphological Systems, Sex Chromosomes, and Restriction Sites". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 248 (1): 1–200. doi:10.1206/0003-0090(2000)248<0001:POPBMC>2.0.CO;2. 
  3. ^ a b c Turvey, S.T. (2009). Holocene mammal extinctions. In: Turvey, S.T. (editor) (2009). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
  4. ^ Turvey, S. 2008. Desmodus draculae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 02 March 2016.
  5. ^ Suárez, W. 2005. Taxonomic status of the Cuban vampire bat (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae: Desmodontinae: Desmodus). Caribbean Journal of Science 41(4):761-767.
  6. ^ Don E. Wilson & DeeAnn M. Reeder (editors). 2005. Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed), Johns Hopkins University Press, 2,142 pp.
  7. ^ Barquez, R., Perez, S., Miller, B. & Diaz, M. 2015. Desmodus rotundus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 02 March 2016.
  8. ^ Knox Jones JR, J. (1958). Pleistocene Bats from San Josecito Cave, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History, Volume 9, No. 14, pp. 389-396, December 19, 1958. (Available online)
  9. ^ Jarrin-V, P.; Kunz, T. H. (2011). "A new species of Sturnira (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae) from the Choco forest of Ecuador" (PDF). Zootaxa. 2755: 1–35.