Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Lonchorhina aurita

Common Sword-nosed Bat

Order: Chiroptera
Family: Phyllostomidae


Conservation Status: Least Concern.

This bat has such a large noseleaf that “sword-nosed’ is an apt description. The noseleaf sticks up almost as far as its very large ears.

It is a rather delicate bat, with long legs and tail. Perhaps because of its excellent echolocation equipment - its large ears and noseleaf - it is hard to study. It can apparently detect mist nets, which are made of such fine threads that many kinds of bats blunder into them and get entangled. (They do not get hurt; biologists can free them, study them, and then release them.) Common Sword-nosed Bats will sometimes stop and hover in front of a net or escape through a tiny gap. They are also hard to study because they do not leave their day roost to forage until it is completely dark. They apparently eat both fruit and insects, and probably glean insect prey from vegetation. They are usually found in mature forests where most of the tall trees that form the canopy keep their leaves all year. Groups of a dozen to 500 have been found roosting in caves and mine tunnels.

Range: Head and Body: 53-69 mm; Tail: 49-56 mm

Range: 10-15 g


Tomes, 1863. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1863:83.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Lonchorhina aurita