Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Artibeus jamaicensis

Jamaican Fruit-eating Bat

Order: Chiroptera
Family: Phyllostomidae

Image of Artibeus jamaicensis
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Radio-tagged bats led scientists to hollow trees where male bats guarded harems of 4 to 11 females. The male was the last to leave when the bats went out at night to forage, and brought his fruit back close to the tree where his harem was located to eat it. Figs are a favorite food, and the bats help disperse the seeds. They fly up to 10 km (about 6 miles) a night scouting for trees with ripe fruit, but they avoid flying when the moon is full - perhaps because they are too visible to predators such as owls on bright nights.

Jamaican Fruit-eating Bats are abundant in forests and on farmland at lower elevations. They are not choosy about roosting sites. In addition to tree-hollow harems, they roost in caves, tunnels, foliage, and even in “tents” they or other bats make by chewing through the veins or midribs of leaves until the leaf folds over and provides shelter.

Range: Head and Body: 70-85 mm

Range: 29-51 g


Leach, 1821. The Transactions of Linnaean Society of London, 13:75.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Artibeus jamaicensis