Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Glossophaga soricina

Pallas's Long-tongued Bat

Order: Chiroptera
Family: Phyllostomidae


Conservation Status: Least Concern.

When they feed on gourd trees (Crescentia cujute), these little bats hover just below a flower, then land and, using their thumbs for support, push themselves up into it. They come out covered with pollen. A bat will defend the plant where it is feeding, charging straight at an intruding bat, who usually flies away. Their food is not limited to nectar and pollen. Depending on what is available, they also eat insects, fruit, and flower parts. They are equally flexible about roosting sites, using everything from caves to buildings to hollow trees to the underside of bridges. If it is chilly, several cluster together for warmth. If the weather is bad or food is scarce they can enter a state called estivation, in which they slow their bodily functions and save energy.

Twins have been reported, but usually one furry baby is born at a time, often in a maternity colony with other mothers and babies. The young bat can fly when it is not quite a month old, but nurses for about two months.

Range: Head and Body: 45-59 mm; Tail: 5-10 mm

Range: 7-12 g


Pallas, P. S., 1766. Miscellanea Zoologica (quibus novae imprimis atque obscurae animalium species descripuntur et observationibus iconibusque illustrantur), p. 48.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Glossophaga soricina