Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Nyctinomops aurispinosus

Peale's Free-tailed Bat

Order: Chiroptera
Family: Molossidae


Conservation Status: Least Concern.

The naturalist who described and named this species in 1848 worked from a specimen obtained at sea about 100 miles from the coast of Brazil. Either the bat accidentally sailed with the U.S.S. Peacock or it was blown badly off course by a storm, only to meet its death - but become part of scientific history - on board ship.

Very little is known about this species. It is presumed to inhabit low or mid elevations, to about 3,150 meters. Individuals have been caught in mist nets over waterways and on the walls and ceilings of caves, or netted as they were leaving in the evening, often with Broad-eared Free-tailed Bats. Like the latter, females probably have one offspring annually, in the spring, and presumably their diet consists mostly of soft-bodied insects.

There are late-Pleistocene fossils, from Mexico.

Range: Total Length: 109-112 mm (3 males, 1 female, from Mexico:) Tail: 41-49 mm

Range: 17.0-18.9 g


Peale, T.R., 1848. In Peale, T.R., "Mammalogy and ornithology". United States exploring expedition during the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842 under the command of Charles Wilkes, U.S.N., C. Sherman, Philadelphia, 8:21.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Nyctinomops aurispinosus