PALLAS’S LONG-TONGUED BAT – Glossophaga soricina


Pallas’s long-tongued bat facts: Pallas’s long-tongued bat is named for its most distinctive feature: its long tongue. It is a relatively small bat, with a head and body length combined of 1.8 to 2.3 inches (4.5 to 5.9 centimeters). Its visible tail is short, only about a quarter of an inch (0.6 centimeters). Fur color is dark brown to reddish brown, and the underside is paler. These bats have a long, narrow snout, small eyes, and short, rounded ears.

Geographic range: Pallas’s long-tongued bats are found in northern Mexico, Paraguay, northern Argentina, Trinidad, Grenada, and Jamaica.

Where do bats live: These bats live in lowland habitats. They are more commonly found in dry forests than in wet forests. Bats roost in a variety of sites, including caves, hollows in trees, mines, and abandoned houses.

What do bats eat : Pallas’s long-tongued bats feed on nectar, pollen, and insects. When those foods are scarce, they will eat fruit as well.

Behavior and reproduction: Pallas’s long-tongued bats often share their roosting sites with other species. They are social animals, forming colonies of several hundred individuals to a few thousand. Smaller colonies have also been found. The bats use their long, narrow tongues to lap nectar from plants. Individuals forage for food independently. Females give birth to a single offspring twice each year. Females form maternity colonies. The seasons of birth vary depending upon where the bats live. In Costa Rica, births occur in December to February, then in April to June.

Pallas’s long-tongued bat and people: Pallas’s long-tongued bats are important to the ecosystem because of their role in dispersing seeds as well as pollinating night-blooming cacti (KACK-tie or KACKtee; plural of cactus) and many other species of plants.

Conservation status: These bats are not threatened.