Today we have a weirdly adorable bat that’s known as the Honduran white bat. This little guy has snow white fur and a bright yellow-orange nose to match his bright yellow-orange ears. Even for a bat, these guys are tiny, at an average length of only 1.4-1.8 inches (3.7 – 4.7 cm). Due to the triangular shape of the nose, scientists will refer to them as a “leaf-nosed” bat. Since they are so pale, they also have a thin black membrane covering their skull that acts as a sort of built-in sunscreen.
These bats live only in the lowland rainforests of eastern Honduras, northern Nicaragua, eastern Costa Rica and western Panama. They build a home by cutting the sides of the heliconia plant, which then folds down to form a tent. Next, the bats hang from the roof of their newly made tent in small colonies of up to half a dozen, consisting of one male and his harem of females. Since the tent is not very strong, any predator getting too close will shake the plant and warn the group so they can quickly get the hell out of there and fly away.
Honduran white bats are not blood-suckers. They are actually vegetarians, preferring to feast only on fruit and vegetables. The white coat on these little creatures actually acts as a sort of camouflage. When the sun shines through their leaf tent, their fur appears green, making them much harder for predators to spot. Sadly, since their habitat is mainly under heliconia leaves, rainforest destruction by their human predators has placed them as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Pyrrol Red, Ultramarine Blue, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal
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