Fringe-lipped Bat, Trachops cirrhosus

The fringe-lipped bat (Trachops cirrhosus) is the only species within its genus, Trachops. This species, as well as its three subspecies, can be found in southern Brazil and from southern Mexico to Bolivia. It prefers a habitat within moist or tropical forests, with abundant water sources. It chooses roosts in hollow logs and caves, and can be seen roosting with other bat species.

The fringe-lipped bat can weigh am average of 1.1 ounces. It is typically brownish red in color, although the underbelly is grey.  The nose leaf is prominent and bears serrated edges, and it has a short tail. It derives its name from the warts and bumps on its lips, which give the mouth a “fringed” appearance.

As is typical to bat species, the fringe-lipped bat roosts in small groups of up to fifty individuals containing both male a female bats. Mating season usually occurs between the months of January to June, after which one pup is born. The pup will remain with its mother for a long period.

The diet of the fringe-lipped bat consists of insects, seeds, and even lizards or frogs. These bats will emerge from their roosts early, in order to have higher chances of gleaning a frog from the ground. It will use echolocation to find its prey, sometimes hunting in continuous flight.

The biggest threat to this species is its diet. Because it has a wide variety of preferred foods, human actions can harm its prey. It is not threatened by habitat destruction or hunting, but it does have a main predator, the four-eyed possum, although it is not preyed upon often. With its current high population and lack of threats, the fringe-lipped bat appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern”.

Image Caption: Fringe-lipped bat. Photo taken in La Selva, Costa Rica. Credit: Felineora/Wikipedia(CC BY 3.0)