Ectophylla alba. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species e. TA TAen. The Honduran white bat (Ectophylla alba) is a species of bat in the family Phyllostomatidae. The only member of the genus Ectophylla, it is found in Honduras. Familia: Phyllostomidae Subfamilia: Stenodermatinae Tribus: Stenodermatini Genus: Ectophylla Species: Ectophylla alba.
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Share this image — Hide sharing options. First described in 2this tiny, white-furred bat is perhaps most noticeable for its remarkable habit of constructing its own roost from the leaves of plants 3. The scientific name of this species, Ectophyllais derived from the Greek ecktosmeaning ‘outside’ and phyllon, meaning ‘leaf’, and refers to its distinctive, leaf-shaped nose.
The species name alba is Latin for ‘white’, making reference to the eye-catching white fur of the bat 2.
The Honduran white bat has regular body proportions – if much scaled down – for a fruit-eating bat, with no tail, fairly small ears and a short muzzle 4. Its body is covered in fine white hair, and although at first this may appear somewhat impractical, the effect of sunlight shining through ectpphylla leaves of qlba shelter casts a green light across the bat roosting underneath, providing effective camouflage from predators 5.
The Honduran white bat primarily uses the leaves of Heliconia plant species, ectophylls may also use the leaves of Calathea and Ischnosiphon plants 7. To form its tent-like shelter from these wide, waxy leaves, the bat selects relatively low-hanging foliage and severs the leaf on either side of the midrib along most of its length. The two sides of ectophylla leaf droop down under their own weight, creating a waterproof shelter and providing protection from potential predators 3.
Both male and female Honduran white bats are known to be able to create these tents 7 8. Like many other bats, the Honduran white bat is nocturnalpreferring to roost throughout the day in its tent, and venturing out at night to forage for fruit, on which it feeds exclusively 2.
This bat typically roosts in groups of four to eight, although cases of single bats roosting in their own tents are not unusual 2 9. The females produce only a single sctophylla at a time, coinciding with the rainy season of the Caribbean ectophhylla which extends from May through to August 2.
An inhabitant of evergreen tropical forests 1the Honduran white bat requires areas where there is sufficient canopy coverage, understorey coverage up to one metre in height, and a density of Heliconia ectophhlla, a fairly common tropical albq plant 6. Population numbers of the Honduran white bat are reported to have declined significantly 1as the spread of agriculture and urban development have destroyed suitable habitat. A century ago, 80 percent of Costa Rica was forested, but today that figure has fallen to just 20 percent The dependence of the Honduran white bat on a very specific habitat, that is, forest with a suitable density of Heliconia plants, makes this species vulnerable to extinction 6.
Although not aimed specifically at the Honduran white bat, there are a number of conservation projects in progress, or planned, throughout Central America, aiming to decrease and potentially halt the rapid deforestation that the region is currently undergoing.
Conservation and environmental groups such as the WWF, the Nature Conservancy and a number of volunteer groups have a strong presence in the area 11 Embed this Arkive thumbnail link “portlet” by copying and pasting the code below.
ADW: Ectophylla alba: INFORMATION
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Share on Facebook Tweet Send email. Honduran white bat Ectophylla alba. Image credit Link to this image Add to scrapbook How you can use this image. Honduran white bat fact file Description Biology Range Habitat Status Threats Conservation Find out more Glossary References Print factsheet Honduran white bat description Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Chiroptera Family Phyllostomidae Genus Ectophylla 1 First described in 2this tiny, white-furred bat is perhaps most noticeable for its remarkable habit of constructing its own roost from the leaves of plants 3.
Also known as White bat. Cuban fig-eating bat Phyllops falcatus. Banana bat Musonycteris harrisoni. Jamaican fruit-eating bat Artibeus jamaicensis. White marlin Kajikia albida. Albacore tuna Thunnus alalunga. Honduran white bat habitat An inhabitant of evergreen tropical forests 1the Honduran white bat requires areas where there is sufficient canopy coverage, understorey coverage up to one metre in height, and a density of Heliconiaa fairly common tropical flowering plant 6.
Honduran white bat
Red-fronted parrot Poicephalus gulielmi. Honduran white bat threats Population numbers of the Honduran white bat are reported to have declined significantly 1as the spread of agriculture and urban development have destroyed suitable habitat.
Honduran white bat conservation Although not aimed specifically at the Honduran white bat, there are a number of conservation projects in progress, or planned, throughout Central America, laba to decrease and potentially halt the rapid deforestation that the region is currently undergoing.
Find out more For further information on wildlife conservation in Central America see: This species information was authored as part of the Arkive and Universities Scheme.
Glossary Evergreen A plant which retains leaves all year round. This is in contrast to deciduous plants, which completely lose their leaves for part of the year. Midrib The vein in the centre of a leaf. Nocturnal Active at night. Mammalian Species Ecology57 2: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Acta Chiropterologica10 1: Ectophylls in Costa Rica. Acta Chiropterologica ectophyola, 8 2: Journal of Zoology BATS Magazine20 4: WWF November, http: X Close Image credit. X Close Link to this photo Embed this Arkive thumbnail link “portlet” by copying and pasting the code below. Please donate to Arkive Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Sign up to our newsletter Get the latest wild news direct to your inbox.
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