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Noctilio leporinus

Greater Bulldog Bat

Order: Chiroptera
Family: Noctilionidae

Image of Noctilio leporinus
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Greater Bulldog Bats catch and eat fish, frogs, and other small wetland creatures, scooping them up with their long, strong hind claws. They use echolocation to detect a fish coming to the surface, perhaps to eat an insect, and swoop down to get it. As soon as it is hooked, it is transferred to the mouth; the bat either swallows its prey immediately or stuffs it, partly chewed, into cheek pouches to eat back at its roost.

These big bats are common in lowlands where there are waterways and hollow trees for roosting. Several hundred bats of both sexes roost together, and it appears that both parents help raise their offspring. The young bat stays in the roost for a month before it is ready to hunt its own food.

The bat’s common name comes from its somewhat bulldog-like face, thanks to its split, droopy upper lip.

Range: Head and Body: 76-107 mm; Tail: 27-35 mm

Range: 49-78 g


Linnaeus, C., 1758. Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classis, ordines, genera, species cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Tenth ed. Vol. 1. Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm, 824 pp., 1:32.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Noctilio leporinus