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

  Chiroptera · Phyllostomidae · Macrotus waterhousii
   Smithsonian Institution
   Copyright Notice
   Privacy Notice
Macrotus waterhousii

Waterhouse's Leaf-nosed Bat

Order: Chiroptera
Family: Phyllostomidae


Conservation Status: Least Concern.

This bat’s flight is slow and maneuverable. It flies low to the ground, in dense vegetation, and plucks insects from leaves or from the ground, a feeding method known as gleaning. Its huge ears may enable it to hear an insect crawling on a leaf. The bats usually start foraging an hour or two after sunset, and take their food to a night roost to eat it. They also eat fruit. As many as 500 individuals have been found in day roosts, often near the entrance of a cave or mine and occasionally in a building. They do not seem to need total darkness to roost, nor do they pack closely together in the roost. They hang slightly apart from one another, often by one foot while they use the other foot to scratch or groom themselves.

Range: Head and Body: 54-67 mm; Tail: 29-40 mm

Range: 12-19 g


Gray, J. E., 1843. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1843:21.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Macrotus waterhousii