WHITE BAT – Ectophylla alba


White bat facts: These bats are relatively small, with a combined head and body length of 1.6 to 1.9 inches (4 to 4.7 centimeters). They are named for the color of their fur. The hair over their entire body is white to a light gray tinge. A ring of dark gray hair surrounds the eyes. Ears and noseleaf are yellow.

Geographic range: White bats are found from eastern Honduras to western Panama.

Where do bats live: White bats live in moist or wet tropical forests. They roost in makeshift tents about 6.5 feet (2 meters) above the ground.

What does the white bat eat: White bats eat figs and other fruits.

Behavior and reproduction: White bats modify leaves of plants in the relatively low-growing plants of forests to make roosts. These bats chew the large leaves, nipping the center so that the two sides of the leaf fold downward to form a “tent,” under which the bats gather. The bats have been found roosting singly and in groups of two, four, and six.

White bat females apparently bear only a single young. In Costa Rica, females give birth in April. The males were observed sharing a tent with females until the young were born.

White bats and people: There is no known connection between white bats and people.

Conservation status: The IUCN Red List categorizes the white bat as Near Threatened, or close to becoming threatened.