Bats in New Mexico

Greater Long-nosed Bat

GREATER LONG-NOSED BAT - Leptonycteris nivalis

Weight: 23-25 grams.

Wingspan: : 40-42 centimeters.

Distribution: Big Bend region of Texas, southward across most of Mexico to central Guatemala.

Ecology and Behavior: A colonial cave dweller that usually inhabits deep caverns, but also can be found in mines, cul­verts, hollow trees, and unoccupied buildings. This bat occupies a variety of habitats horn high-elevation, pine­oak woodlands to sparsely vegetated deserts. The muzzle is greatly lengthened and this bat has a long protrusive tongue, which is attached to the posterior sternum. There are rows of hairlike projections that cover the area near the tip of the tongue, which aid in acquiring nectar. It emerges relatively late in the evening to feed. It is an agile flyer, and is capable of quick maneuvering and relatively high-speed flight. It makes swooshing sounds as it flies and can fly straight up while maintaining a horizontal body position.

Food Habits: Primarily feeds on nectar, pollen, insects, and soft, succulent fruits of cactus during the non-flowering season. When foraging at agaves, it crawls down the stalk, thrusts its snout into the flowers, and licks nectar from them with its long tongue, which can be extended up to 7.5 cen­timeters (3 inches) and can reach nectar at the base of the corolla of the flowers. It emerges from the flowers covered with pollen and is an effective pollinator of many cacti, agaves, and other plants.

Reproduction: One baby is born in April, May, or June.

Status of Populations: Rare in the United States.

Thanks to T. L. Best, J. S. Altenbach, and M. J. Harvey for permission to reprint portions of Bats of the Western United States, 1998.

New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department | Copyright
1220 South St. Francis Drive | Santa Fe, NM 87505
Webmaster   |   EMNRD Legal Disclaimer