Physical Setting
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Physical Setting
Climate
Adaptations
Tucson Plants
Tucson Animals
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AnimalsVenomous AnimalsArthropodsFishAmphibiansReptilesBirdsMammals
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Lesser (Southern) Long-Nosed Bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae)
lesser long-nosed bat feeding at saguaro
DESCRIPTION: Formerly Leptonycteris curasoae. Also, formerly Sanborn's Long-Nosed Bat (Leptonycteris sanborni). Wt=15-25g, L=2.75-3.25" (69-84mm). Overall tan with dark wings. The only bat that has a noseleaf and no visible tail.
NATURAL HISTORY: Feeds mostly on nectar and pollen (augmented by cactus fruit when available). Nocturnal. Migratory, following the blooming of cardon, organ pipe cactus, and saguaro north from Mexico into AZ and NM in the late Spring and then following the blooming of agave south back into Mexico in the Fall. Mating likely occurs before migrating north. Upon arrival here, the females form huge maternity colonies in caves and abandoned mines, where they give birth to their single offspring. Meanwhile, males form groups of only a few individuals. These bats often form feeding flocks that spend the night alternately feeding and roosting (in small caves or human structures) together. The Lesser Long-Nosed Bat is listed as Threatened in both Mexico and the U.S. See Bat Facts below for more.

BAT FACTS

  • Bats are the only mammals to truly fly
  • One in 4 mammals are bats (worldwide and in Arizona); only rodents are more diverse (one in two mammals are rodents)
  • Wingspans range from six inches (15cm) (bumblebee bat) to six feet (183cm) (flying fox)
    • In Tucson, we have both the smallest bat (Western Pipistrelle) and the largest bat (Western Mastiff Bat -- Eumops perotis) in the U.S.
  • Colors range from white to yellow to orange to red to brown to blue-gray to black
  • Diets include blood (not in Arizona!), bats, birds, rodents, frogs, lizards, fish, scorpions, insects, leaves, nectar, pollen, and fruit.
  • Bats catch their prey in the air, off the ground, from plants, and even gaff them out of water
  • Bats are not blind -- they have good eyesight -- and do not get tangled in hair (they are just flying close to get the gnats and mosquitoes zeroing in on you).
  • Bats play critical ecological and economical roles (e.g., by eating tons of insects and pollinating and dispersing seeds of plants)
  • Yet, sadly, bats are among the most threatened land mammals in North America, with over half the species either listed as threatened or endangered or candidates to become listed

For more, see the excellent site, Bat Conservation International, Inc.

 


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