Whitebellied funneleared bat

Natalus tumidirostris

TAXONOMY

Natalus tumidirostris Miller, 1900, Hatto, Curaçao. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Trinidadian funnel-eared bat; French: Vespertilion à couleur de paille; German: Trichterohr.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Weight is 0.1 oz (3.3 g). Dorsally, a rusty brown; belly white; snout and lips pink; ears black outside, while pink with black rims inside.

DISTRIBUTION

Colombia, Venezuela, Suriname, Trinidad, and Curaçao. Subfossil remains have been found in caves on Andros, Cat, Great Exuma, and New Providence Islands in the Bahamas.

HABITAT

Roosts deep in caves. BEHAVIOR

Roosts in caves, but a roost also recorded in a hollow rubber tree. Colonies reported from 100 to several thousand.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Has the slow fluttery flight of all natalids, reported to make a soft regular vocalization when hunting, audible to children, and described as sounding like a sewing machine. It uses the tail membrane to catch insects.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

On Curaçao, young are born in October, at the start of the rainy season. This species is most likely polygynous.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Species of the bacterial genus Borellia have been isolated from N. tumidirostris. B. recurrentis causes relapsing fever in humans; it is transmitted by the bite of insects and ticks from wild reservoirs such as bats and mice. The effects of the Borellia isolated from N. tumidirostris (if any) are not known. Many bats, including N. tumidirostris, have organisms associated with their guano, which cause disease in humans. These include several fungi, including Blastomyces dermatitidis, which causes blastomy-cosis (Gilchrist's disease, an infection of the skin, lungs, and lymph nodes). A species of yeast-like fungus, Candida chi-ropterorum has been found in the organs of several bat species, including N. tumidirostris. ♦

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