Lesser ghost bat

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Lesser ghost bat
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Emballonuridae
Genus: Diclidurus
Subgenus: Diclidurus
Species: D. sctutatus
Binomial name
Diclidurus scutatus
Lesser Ghost Bat area.png
Lesser ghost bat range

The lesser ghost bat (Diclidurus scutatus) is a bat species found in South America.[1] It is one of six bat species worldwide to have white fur.

Taxonomy and etymology[edit]

It was described by Wilhelm Peters in 1869 based on a specimen sent to the Paris Museum of Natural History by Arsène Onessim Barraquin.[2] Barraquin had collected the specimen in Paraguay in 1859.[4] Peters placed it in the Diclidurus genus.[2] Its specific name, scutatus, is of Latin origin, meaning "shield-shaped". Its lineage diverged from other members of its genus around 5 million years ago at the end of the Miocene.[5]


It has long, soft fur that is white or pale brown in color.[6] It is one of only six bat species worldwide that have white fur; others are the other three species of Diclidurus, the Honduran white bat (Ectophylla alba), and the ghost bat (Macroderma gigas).[7] Its claws are black in color.[2] Its forearm is 51–58.9 mm (2.01–2.32 in) long.[6] Forearm length can be used to distinguish it from the closely related northern ghost bat, Diclidurus albus, which has a forearm length of more than 60 mm (2.4 in).[6] It weighs 13 g (0.46 oz). Adult males have two glandular pouches on their uropatagiums.[8] These pouches are particularly pronounced during breeding season. The ear is 15 mm (0.59 in) long, and the tragus is 6 mm (0.24 in) long.[6] Its dental formula is, for a total of 32 teeth.[9]


It is insectivorous.[1] It flies quickly at tree-top height as it forages for food. It also forages over open water.[6] Because it forages so high, it is difficult to capture and study—almost nothing is known about their reproduction. In one study in French Guiana, researchers captured 8,031 bats as they foraged or roosted, but only two were the lesser ghost bat.[10] During the day, it roosts in palm tree leaves.[8] They will forage in cities where insects gather around street lamps and flood lights.[1]

Range and habitat[edit]

Its range includes northern Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Surinam, and Venezuela.[1] It has also been found in southeastern Brazil.[8] Many observations of it have occurred at elevations less than 200 m (660 ft) above sea level. In Venezuela, it has not been encountered above 1,000 m (3,300 ft) above sea level. They are more likely to be found in wet forests.[1]


It is currently evaluated as least concern by the IUCN. It meets the criteria for this classification due to its wide distribution. While its population trend is unknown because it is rarely encountered, it is not thought that their numbers are rapidly declining. Deforestation is a possible threat to this species.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Sampaio, E.; Lim, B.; Peters, S. (2016). "Diclidurus scutatus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T6564A21986499. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T6564A21986499.en. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Peters, W. (1869). "Bemerkungen über neue oder weniger bekannte Flederthiere, besonders des Pariser Museums". Monatsberichte der Königlichen Preussische Akademie des Wissenschaften zu Berlin. 1869: 400–401.
  3. ^ Simmons, N.B. (2005). "Order Chiroptera". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 387. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  4. ^ "Specimen MNHN-ZM-MO-1859-340". Collection: Mammals (ZM). Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris (France). Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  5. ^ Lim, B. K. (2007). "Divergence times and origin of neotropical sheath-tailed bats (Tribe Diclidurini) in South America". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 45 (3): 777–791. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.09.003.
  6. ^ a b c d e Escobedo, M.; Velazco, P. M. (2012). "First confirmed record for Peru of Diclidurus scutatus Peters, 1869 (Chiroptera: Emballonuridae)". Check List. 8 (3): 554–556. doi:10.15560/8.3.554.
  7. ^ The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica (July 29, 2013). "Ghost Bat". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c Sodré, Miriam M.; Uieda, Wilson (2006). "First record of the ghost bat Diclidurus scutatus Peters (Mammalia, Chiroptera, Emballonuridae) in São Paulo city, Brazil". Revista Brasileira de Zoologia. 23 (3): 897–898. doi:10.1590/S0101-81752006000300042.
  9. ^ Phillips, C. J.; Jones, J. K. (1968). "Dental abnormalities in North American bats. I. Emballonuridae, Noctilionidae, and Chilonycteridae". Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science (1903-). 71 (4): 509–520. doi:10.2307/3627454.
  10. ^ Brosset, A.; Charles-Dominique, P.; Cockle, A.; Cosson, J. F.; Masson, D. (1996). "Bat communities and deforestation in French Guiana. Canadian Journal of Zoology". 74 (11): 1974–1982.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Flamme, Laura (2014). MNHN-ZM-MO-1859-340 (Photograph). Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle. Retrieved 2 October 2017. Image of holotype (preserved specimen).
  • Infonatura