Greater sacwinged bat

Saccopteryx bilineata

SUBFAMILY

Emballonurinae

TAXONOMY

Saccopteryx bilineata (Temminck, 1838), Suriname. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Greater white-lined bat, greater two-lined bat; German: Große Taschenflügelfledermaus, Große Sackflügelfledermaus; Spanish: Murciélago de listas.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and body length 1.8-2.2 in (47-56 mm); forearm 1.7-1.9 in (44-48 mm); weight 0.2-0.35 oz (6-10 g).Dorsal fur dark brown with two distinct white lines and dark gray ventral fur; dark wings and tail membrane; males with wing sacs in the front wing membrane; females slightly larger than males. Saccopteryx bats turn the next to the last joint on their third fingers up rather than down when resting.

DISTRIBUTION

From south Mexico to southeast Brazil. From lowlands to up to 1,640 ft (500 m) in elevation.

HABITAT

Inhabit lowland evergreen or semi-deciduous forests and roost in well-lit portions of hollow tress, buttress cavities, and occa sionally at buildings. Colonies are divided into smaller territories in which one to nine females roost. Larger colonies can count up to 60 individuals. Each colony defends its own foraging territory, and colonies shift seasonally between different foraging habitats.

BEHAVIOR

During a hovering display, males fan scents from the wing membrane towards roosting females. In addition, males emit songs to attract and retain females into their harem.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Feed exclusively on insects. Usually individuals emerge from the colony before sunset and hunt below the canopy along forest edges or small gaps. After dark they move higher, sometimes close to or even above the canopy. Subsequent echolocation calls alternate between 44 and 47 kHz.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

In Costa Rica and Panama, the mating season is restricted to a few weeks in December and January. Females give birth to a single offspring at the onset of the rainy season in July or August. In the Ecuadorian Amazon, females give birth to their offspring in December to January. Believed to be polygynous.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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