JAMAICAN FRUIT BAT

Richard La Val, Animals Animals
Leaf-nosed bats use their nose-leaf to aid in echolocation.

Jamaican fruit bats in a cave
Fruit bats

KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
GENUS: Artibeus
Did You Know...
The Jamaican fruit bat is the only bat with a noseleaf and no tail found in North America. A noseleaf is a leaf-shaped flap of skin projecting up from the nose. Oddly enough, this flap does not increase their sense of smell but may be involved in their ability to echolocate.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTIONA leaf-nosed bat with no tail. Brown on upperside and grayish on underside, facial stripes above and below the eyes.
SIZE8 cm (3.25 in.) long; 3040 cm (1215 in.) wingspan; 42 g (1.5 oz.)
RANGECentral and South Americas, Florida Keys, Cuba, and the Caribbean islands.
NATURAL HISTORYJamaican fruit bats live in a wide range of forest types and in urbanized areas, in buildings. They are nocturnal, leaving their daytime roosts to forage for food. They use echolocation to find fruit, obstacles, and other bats while flying in the dark. When distressed, their stress call attracts others in a mobbing behavior.
FOODFruits, such as figs, mangos, avocados, and bananas, as well as pollen, nectar, flower parts, and a few insects.
PREDATOROwls, snakes, and hawks
SHELTERCave entrances, hollow trees, and building eaves
REPRODUCTIONAfter breeding in August or September, a female has one young in March or April. Another birthrate peak occurs in July and August.
HUMAN IMPACTLoss of habitat has greatly reduced the number of Jamaican fruit bats.
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Updated August 28, 2006