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  • Jihong Yoon (G6) Bangbae

Honduran White Bats



What images do you think pop into people’s minds when they hear the word “bat”? People usually think of caves, Dracula, and sharp teeth. However, there is a kind of bat species that is neither scary nor drinks blood. It is called the Honduran white bat.

          Honduran white bats are a kind of bats that are tiny. They are only 1.5 to 2 inches which is the size of an adult’s index finger. They weigh only 5 to 6 grams, and that is very light. They are covered in white fur, and they have a pig-like yellow nose. These bats live in rainforests in Costa Rica, Western Panama, and Honduras.

          The most interesting and well-known part of these bats is that they build homes called “leaf tents.” Because it is one of the big-leaved plants, these bats use heliconia leaves. They cut through the veins of the heliconia leaf. This makes the leaf concave, in a “v” shape. They cling onto the leaf almost all day The leaf protects them from the hot sun and heavy rain. They are also protected from predators which are possums and snakes. There are 4 to 8 bats in one leaf—one male and a couple of females are in one group.



          There are some reasons that make the Honduran white bats so special. The first reason is the leaf tents, and the second is that they are one of the six completely white-bodied bats along with Ghost bats and other four species. Another reason is that they are one of the only two bat species that are frugivorous. This means they feed on fruits. Their favorite type of fruit is figs. They feed on a kind of fig called the ficus colubrinae.

          Honduran white bats are a rare and unique species of bats. They are almost the only type of bats that make leaf tents. Also, they are one of the only six completely white-bodied bats, and they are frugivorous. However, they are losing their habitat due to people who destroy rainforests. Therefore, I think people should pay attention to these bats and try to protect them from further loss of their kind.



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