The Honduran white bat is the only bat belonging to the genus of Ectophylla. They are one of the four members of the Phyllostomidae family who are found in Central America - especially in the countries of Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua. Their features contradict almost every myth about bats including the fact that they prefer dark caves to live in and are mostly black or dark brown in color. They are also known as the Caribbean white tent-making bats due to their tendency to roost in a tent made out of folding Heliconia leaves. They cut the leaf ribs of the plant with their teeth and make a tent to roost in.
This bat is extremely unique due to its ability to derive carotenoids (red, orange, and yellow pigments) from plants to their skin. Therefore, their bright yellow wings, ears, and nose come from the peel of the fig plant which they eat. This bat was first discovered in 1898 and the second discovery was made in 1963. Keep reading for more amazing information about the Honduran white bat!
If you liked this article with fascinating facts about the Honduran white bat, also check out the other articles with some great facts about the big brown bat and the fruit bat.
Honduran White Bat
What do they prey on?
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
0.18-0.21 oz (5-6 g)
How long are they?
1.5-1.9 in (3.7-4.7 cm)
How tall are they?
What do they look like?
What are their main threats?
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Honduran White Bat Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a Honduran white bat?
A Honduran white bat (Ectophylla alba) is a type of bat.
What class of animal does a Honduran white bat belong to?
The Honduran white bat (Ectophylla alba) belongs to the class Mammalia with its genus being Ecotphylla.
How many Honduran white bats are there in the world?
The exact population of the Honduran white bats has not yet been recorded by scientists and researchers.
Where does a Honduran white bat live?
As the name suggests, the Honduran white bat (Ectophylla alba) is primarily found in the Central American country Honduras. It is also found in eastern parts of Nicaragua and Costa Rica as well as western Panama and some parts of Central America.
What is a Honduran white bat's habitat?
The Honduran white bat's habitat primarily consists of tropical moist evergreen forests. This species chooses any lowland rainforests where they can find food and roost comfortably as their habitat. They also prefer a tropical climate with a rainy summer as found in the forests.
Who does Honduran white bat live with?
Honduran white bats (Ectophylla alba) are quite social. They live together and roost in tents made out of heliconia leaves. These heliconia roosts consist of up to six bats with typically one male and five females in one tent. Female bats form maternity colonies with their young while the males form their own segregated roosts with six mature individuals. The males keep their roosts separate till the young bats leave the maternal colonies.
How long does a Honduran white bat live?
The average lifespan of the Honduran white bat is not known to scientists. However, the typical lifespan of bats that belong to the Phyllostomidae family is recorded to be approximately seven years. Therefore, it is assumed that the Honduran white bat also has a similar lifespan.
How do they reproduce?
The mating season for this species starts in May and lasts till August. They follow polygamy as a single male in a roost mate with multiple females. Each female has a single pup after a gestation period of three weeks. The male flies off to the bachelor colony after mating and does not look after the offspring. When one female goes out to look for food, the other females take in her young and nurse it till the mother returns. The young start to fledge soon and can start flying 20 days after birth. After a month or so, the young bats are mature and independent.
What is their conservation status?
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorized the Honduran white bat as Near Threatened in their IUCN Red List.
Honduran White Bat Fun Facts
What does a Honduran white bat look like?
Honduran white bats have a distinct skin coloration with is grey or snow-white colored fur. They have a protruding triangle-shaped nose. Their nose leaf has led them to be known as 'leaf-nosed' bats! Their nose leaf is yellow or amber in color while their ears and ear openings are also of the same color. They do not have a tail but the external parts of their wing are yellow in color while the inner part is gray-colored. These bats have a thin, black membrane on their skull. The membrane acts as a natural sunscreen for them and protects them from ultraviolet radiation.
How cute are they?
Honduran white bats are extremely cute! With their tiny furry body, small yellow nose and ears, and tendency to roost together inside leaves - they are adorable and not scary at all.
How do they communicate?
These bats primarily use sound and touch to communicate with each other. During the mating season, males and females use pheromones to communicate. They also use echolocation to navigate and forage for fruit at night.
How big is a Honduran white bat?
The Honduran white bat is quite small with its average length being approximately 1.5-1.9 in (3.7-4.7 cm). They have an average wingspan of (10.2 cm).
A black-handed spider monkey is almost ten times the size of a Honduran white bat with a size of 12-15 in (30-38 cm)!
How fast can Honduran white bats fly?
Honduran white bats can fly, but not much is known about the speed of Honduran white bats while they fly. However, some studies claim that this species can fly at a speed of 20 mph (15 kph).
How much does a Honduran white bat weigh?
The average weight of Honduran white bats is 0.18-0.21 oz (5-6 g).
What are the male and female names of the species?
There is no distinct name to refer to the male and female types of this species. Therefore, they are just referred to as the male or female Honduran white bats.
What would you call a baby Honduran white bat?
A baby Honduran white bat does not have a unique name. Thus, following the standard terminology, a baby bat is referred to as a pup.
What do they eat?
Honduran white bats are frugivores which means that they only eat raw fruit or parts of the fruit. They mostly eat figs but can eat any other fruit if required.
Are they dangerous?
Honduran white bats are not dangerous and do not harm humans or other animals. However, they have predators like owls, opossums, raptors, snakes, and squirrel monkeys. These predators can figure out their location through the leaf roosts and prey on them.
Would they make a good pet?
Honduran white bats would not make a good pet as they are essentially a type of wild bat with a unique habitat where they make leaf tents and tent roosting. They also have a particular diet because of which they can only live in areas with plenty of fig trees.
Did you know...
Although there is no particular scientific name to refer to white bats or white-colored bats, some people informally refer to them as albino bats. Albino bats are not extinct since the Honduran white bat along with the ghost bat (Macroderma Gigas) and four Diclidurus species have entirely white fur among the 1300 bat species known to scientists.
These white bats have a unique adaptive feature to protect themselves from predators. When they take shelter in leaf roosts during the day, the sunlight enters the canopy and reflects off of their white fur. Thus, their fur takes on a greenish hue which acts as a camouflage to shield them from predators. Their white fur also often looks like a wasp nest which ensures that predators stay away from it.
Indonesia is known to be the country with the most number of bat species. Around 225 bat species have been recorded in this country.
What is the biggest bat in the world?
The flying fox bats are the largest species of bats in the world. Among them, the golden-crowned flying fox is considered to be the biggest bat in the world. Its body length is between the range of 7.0-11.4 in (17.7-27.9 cm) and its average weight is 2.6 lb (1.1 kg). The length of its wingspan is 5-6 ft (1.5-1.8 m). It is mostly found in the swampy marshlands or mangrove forests in the Philippines and does not like to stay near humans.
Is the Honduran white bat endangered?
The Honduran white bat or the Caribbean whit tent-making bat is currently classified as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List but it might soon move into the Vulnerable list. This means that these creatures are not yet fully endangered but have chances of becoming so due to their declining population. The growth of the human population and the destruction of forests has led to habitat loss for these creatures. They also need a specialized habitat that depends on heliconia leaves. Heliconia is a large flowering plant found in these regions. They are also plagued by predators and might have health problems if they do not have access to a steady diet of fig (Ficus colubrinae) trees.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our white-lipped peccary facts and wolfdog facts pages.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.
We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.