Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Pteronotus davyi

Davy's Naked-backed Bat

Order: Chiroptera
Family: Mormoopidae


Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Most bats gain the airspeed they need to fly by launching themselves from a high place and then, as they fall, flapping their wings. Letting go of the roost is all it takes to get started. But Davy’s Naked-backed Bat is a particularly good climber. It climbs to the top of the cave or mine where it roosts and takes off at high speed. This is an effective way to escape predators that may be waiting outside.

Large groups - sometimes hundreds of thousands - of these small, delicate bats roost together in deep, humid caves or mines. No nighttime roosts are known; when it leaves the day roost to hunt, presumably it stays airborne the entire time. The bats fly low to the ground and often hunt for flying insects over water. They seem to be most active in the first few hours after sunset and again shortly before sunrise. When the weather is too chilly for insects to be active, they leave the day roost for a short period of time, drink some water, and then return.

Babies are born at the start of the rainy season, when insects are plentiful and the mothers have an ample supply of food, which they need to produce milk to nurse their offspring.

Range: Head and Body: 42-55 mm; Tail: 18-25 mm

Range: 5-10 g


Gray, J. E., 1838. Magazine of Zoology and Botany (Jardine), 2:500.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Pteronotus davyi