Found from southeastern Mexico through Central America to northern half of South America.
Biogeographic Regions: neotropical (Native )
They are 56.5-59.2mm in length, with a forearm length of 35-41mm. These little bats have soft, dense brownish-grey fur with two white stripes on the back and rump. The ventral surface is lighter. The wing is furred dorsally. They have an elongate muzzle, and the calcar is longer than the tibea. A pregnant female was found to weigh 6.0g, almost twice the normal body weight.
Habitat and Ecology
These bats live in tropical woodlands that are stable, nonseasonal habitats. Frequently found in forests, pastures and swamps, all near water.
Terrestrial Biomes: rainforest
This bat feeds exclusively on insects. It often hunts over water, beginning its foraging bouts at dusk. Males defend a feeding range with pregnant females on the inside and young males and non pregnant females on the outskirts.
Life History and Behavior
There is no breeding season, and stable year round harems are formed. One young is born. Both sexes disperse after weaning at around 2-4 months.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Rhynchonycteris naso
There are 96 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: Rhynchonycteris naso
Public Records: 92
Specimens with Barcodes: 103
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
Eat insects that could pollinate crops and gathered foods.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Eat insects that could be pests.
The proboscis bat (Rhynchonycteris naso) is a bat species from South and Central America. Other common names include sharp-nosed bat, Brazilian long-nosed bat and river bat in English, and murciélago narizón in Spanish. It is monotypic within its genus.
This species is in the family Emballonuridae, the sac-winged or sheath-tailed bats. Like most bats, it is nocturnal. It is found from southern Mexico to Peru, Bolivia and Brazil, as well as in Trinidad.
This is a small bat, around 6 centimeters (2 inches) long and 4 grams (0.14 ounces) in weight. Males in northern South America were found to average 56.48 millimeters long, females 59.18. The tail is about 1.6 centimeters long. Pregnant females can weigh up to 6 grams. The species is characterized by its long, fleshy, and pointed nose. Its fur is soft and dense and is brownish-grey in color, with two white stripes down the back. Whether these stripes serve a purpose, such as camouflage or attraction of mates, is unknown. This bat also has gray tufts of fur on the forearms. No matter what time of day these features may make the bat difficult to see.
This species is found in the lowlands of the northern half of South America, throughout Central America, and into southeastern Mexico. From Ecuador south, it is limited to east of the Andes; its range extends south to the northern half of Bolivia and much of Brazil. It seldom occurs above 300 meters (1,000 feet) in elevation. It usually lives around wetlands and is frequently found in riparian forests, pastures swamps, and all near water.
Proboscis bats live in groups. The colonies are usually between five and ten individuals, and very rarely exceed forty. The bats are nocturnal, sleeping during the day in an unusual formation: they lay one after another on a branch or wooden beam, nose to tail, in a straight row.
A colony of proboscis bats usually has a regular feeding area, typically a small patch of water. Here the bats catch insects using echolocation. They have no specific breeding season, forming stable year-round harems. One young is born. Both sexes disperse after weaning at around 2–4 months.
- Chiroptera Specialist Group (1996). "Rhynchonycteris naso". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
- Infonatura. Natureserve.org. Retrieved on 2012-12-29.
- Sharp-nosed Bat – Rhynchonycteris naso. Arthurgrosset.com. Retrieved on 2012-12-29.
- Plumpton, David L.; Jones, J. Knox Jr. (1992). "Rhynchonycteris naso". Mammalian Species 413: 1–5. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
- Lim, Burton K.; Engstrom, Mark D. (26 Nov 2001). "Bat community structure at Iwokrama Forest, Guyana". J. Trop. Ecol. 17 (5): 647–665. doi:10.1017/S0266467401001481.
- Rhynchonycteris. Ftp.funet.fi (2002-08-29). Retrieved on 2012-12-29.
- Timm, Robert M. & Losilla, Mauricio (2007): Orb-weaving Spider, Argiope savignyi (Araneidae), Predation on the Proboscis Bat Rhynchonycteris naso (Emballonuridae). Caribbean Journal of Science 43(2): 282–284. PDF hdl:1808/4463
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