Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
Search the Archive

  Chiroptera · Noctilionidae · Noctilio albiventris
   Smithsonian Institution
   Copyright Notice
   Privacy Notice
Noctilio albiventris

Lesser Bulldog Bat

Order: Chiroptera
Family: Noctilionidae


Conservation Status: Least Concern.

One way to figure out what bats eat is to examine their feces. Scientists were curious about the diet of this bat, because like the similar but larger Greater Bulldog Bat, which catches and eats fish, this bat has big feet, powerful claws, and forages over water. Studies showed that the Lesser Bulldog Bat eats mostly insects, including beetles that spend most of their lives in water, although one study documented fish scales in the bats’ guano. Both species have short velvety fur, a pale stripe running down the center of the back from shoulder to rump, and large wings and tail membranes. Small groups of Lesser Bulldog Bats often forage together, usually just after dusk and sometimes again early in the morning. They roost in hollow trees or buildings, often with other species of bats. Females bear a single young and very rarely, twins.

Range: Head and Body: 61-81 mm; Tail: 14-19 mm

Range: 15-37 g


Desmarest, A.G., 1818. Nouveau dictionnaire d'histoire naturelle, appliquèe aux art, principalement à l'agriculture et à l'economie rurale et domestique; par une société de naturalists. Nouvelle edition, presqu' entierement refondue et considerablement augmentee, 23:15.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Noctilio albiventris