Northern Mexico to Paraguay and northern Argentina, Jamaica, Bahamas.
Biogeographic Regions: neotropical (Native )
The average weight of of 6 adults from north coast of Colombia is 9 g; average weights of 10.5 g have been reported for other populations. Average forearm skull lengths for 4 males from Nicaragua are 36.4 and 21.45 mm, respectively. The same measurements for 4 females from Nicaragua are 35.75 and 21.3 mm.
Average mass: 9.6 g.
Average basal metabolic rate: 0.164 W.
Habitat and Ecology
Foraging habitat for G. soricina is described as moist and open.
Terrestrial Biomes: forest ; rainforest
Life History and Behavior
Status: captivity: 10.0 years.
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
Reproductive behavior varies somewhat geographically, though most accounts indicate that G. soricina either breeds continuously throughout the year or is bimodally polyestrous. Gestation lasts approximately 3.5 months. Normally only single offspring, but twins have been reported. Parturition occurs with the young in the head down position. Young cling cross-wise to the mother's ventral surface with the head just posterior to the mother's throat. Young have been obsereved hanging on their own at 18 days, but they are known to remain attached to their mother as late as 20 days old. Flight begins at about 25 to 28 days after birth.
Average gestation period: 106 days.
Average number of offspring: 1.
Evolution and Systematics
The wing of Pallas's long-tongued bat overcomes the continuous resistance on its membrane by flipping its outer edge upside down and then quickly back up during the upstroke.
"On the downstroke of a bird's wing during slow flight, for instance, the primary feathers form a solid plane that pushes downward and backward on the air, propelling the bird upward and forward. On the upstroke, the primaries separate, and much of the air that would push the bird back down rushes through the gaps instead. The wing of a bat, however, is a membrane that offers continuous resistance. What happens during its upstroke?
Anders Hedenström of Lund University in Sweden and his colleagues studied vortices in the wake of the Pallas's long-tongued bat, Glossophaga soricina, in the fog-filled air of a wind tunnel. At slow speeds, they discovered, both the downstroke and the upstroke push the animal up and forward. To move the bat forward and upward during the upstroke, the outer part of the wing flips upside down and flicks quickly backward. (At high speeds, the wing doesn't flip and part of it does push the bat down during the upstroke, but that resistance is at least partly compensated for by continuous lift on the front of the wing at the higher speed.)
Whether the flip-flop is common to all bats or an adaptation special to the ones that hover—such as G. soricina, a nectar-eater—remains to be seen. (Science)" (Reebs 2007)
"The flapping flight of animals generates an aerodynamic footprint as a time-varying vortex wake in which the rate of momentum change represents the aerodynamic force. We showed that the wakes of a small bat species differ from those of birds in some important respects. In our bats, each wing generated its own vortex loop. Also, at moderate and high flight speeds, the circulation on the outer (hand) wing and the arm wing differed in sign during the upstroke, resulting in negative lift on the hand wing and positive lift on the arm wing. Our interpretations of the unsteady aerodynamic performance and function of membranous-winged, flapping flight should change modeling strategies for the study of equivalent natural and engineered flying devices." (Hedenström 2007:894)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Hedenström, A.; Johansson, L.C.; Wolf, M.; von Busse, R.; Winter, Y.; Spedding, G.R. 2007. Bat flight generates complex aerodynamic tracks. Science. 316: 894-897.
- Johansson, L.C.; Wolf, M.; von Busse, R.; Winter, Y.; Spedding, G.R.; Hedenström, A. 2008. The near and far wake of Pallas’ long tongued bat (Glossophaga soricina). J. Exp. Biol. 211: 2909-2918.
- Muijres, F.; Johansson, C.J.; Barfield, R.; Wolf, M.; Spedding, G.R.; Hedenström, A. 2008. Leading edge vortex improves lift in slow-flying bats. Science. 319: 1250-1253.
- Stéphan Reebs. 2007. Flip-Flop Flap. Natural History: Samplings--News from Nature [Internet], Accessed 9/18/2007.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Glossophaga soricina
There are 296 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank. Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species. See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Glossophaga soricina
Public Records: 196
Specimens with Barcodes: 415
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1996Lower Risk/least concern
There are no indications that G. soricina is threatened at present.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
This species is probably important as a pollinator of flowers and disperser of seeds of economically important plant species.
Pallas's long-tongued bat
Pallas's long-tongued bat (Glossophaga soricina) is a South and Central American bat. It has the fastest metabolism ever recorded in a mammal, similar to those of hummingbirds. Although it uses 50% of its stored fat over the course of a day, over 80% of its energy comes directly from the simple sugars that compose its diet of nectar, without being stored in any form.
- Chiroptera Specialist Group 1996. Glossophaga soricina. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 26 October 2008.
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