Honduran White Bat, Ectophylla alba

The Honduran white bat (Ectophylla alba) is the sole member of its genus. It is native to western Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Costa Rica, and can be found living at altitudes of up to 2,296 feet. It can reach an average body length between 1.4 and 1.8 inches. This bat has white fur on its entire body, a trait for which it was named, except for it small ears and nose which are yellow in color.

It will construct tents within the leaves of the Heliconia plant, by biting the veins that protrude from the midrib of the plant, causing them to sag. A maximum of six bats can be found living in these tents, typically consisting of one male and while the rest are female. This is known as a harem group.

The Honduran white bat does not flee when its tent is disturbed at the leaves, like other tent building bats, instead only fleeing when the base or stem of the leaves is disturbed. It is thought that this occurs because the bats are well camouflaged while resting during the day, when sunlight shines through the leaves and causes them to appear green in color. The Honduran white bat appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Near Threatened”.

Image Caption: Ectophylla alba (honduran white bat) in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. Credit: Leyo/Wikipedia  (CC BY-SA 2.5)