Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Vampyrum spectrum

Spectral Bat

Order: Chiroptera
Family: Phyllostomidae


Conservation Status: Near Threatened.

These huge, carnivorous bats, the largest in the New World, have an almost three-foot wingspan. They feed mostly on small mammals and birds, leaving the roost to hunt at dusk, just as birds are settling down for the night. They eat lots of parakeets, which roost communally, and may find them by smell. After hunting for about an hour, they return to the day roost. One to five bats, usually two adults and their offspring, roost tightly clustered together in hollow trees. This bat is rare and local, usually found in evergreen forests but occasionally spotted in swampy areas, pastures, or orchards.

Range: Head and Body: 135-152 mm

Range: 135-235 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., 1:31.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Vampyrum spectrum