The Honduran White Bat

The Honduran White Bat - Doodlewash watercolor sketch and painting of white bat with yellow ears

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

Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
48 Comments
  1. kirkistan 1 year ago

    Great image! I don’t want to see one of these flying at me.

  2. Jodi 1 year ago

    another vegetarian 🙂 almost cute too!

  3. Kari 1 year ago

    What a cute bat! And so very unique. You did such a nice job on the fur, I can feel the softness! Who would have thought white would act as a camouflage! Very cool!

    • Author

      Thanks Kari! 😃💕I still get a little nervous painting white things, so glad you think it worked on this guy. I thought they were kind cute! hehe

  4. memadtwo 1 year ago

    I agree on the cuteness. Nature has evolved such interesting methods of survival…(K)

  5. Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

    Wow! So interesting, Charlie! I’m learning so much from you friend! 😃🎨💕

  6. Jacob 1 year ago

    “weirdly adorable” Well, going back to our conversation in yesterday’s post: this is totally appropriate for Selfie Day, no? 😉 And these chaps are pretty cute, mainly because they’re so so tiny! Bats are charming enough as it is but tiny snowball bats get a definite yes from me. How wonderful. Your subject looks a little mischievous to me – that’s not appropriate for Selfie Day at all, now, is it? 😉

    • Author

      Lol… are you saying I look like a bat?! As long as you think the bat is cute, I guess that’s okay! Haha! Thanks Jacob! This could never be a selfie… mischievous?? Moi! Never! (crosses fingers behind back).

  7. Curious to the Max 1 year ago

    An Honduran white bat
    Can you imagine that!
    Instead of vamping
    it goes camping
    with more than one wife
    living the high life

  8. Teri C 1 year ago

    Finally, a non-scary, non-ugly creature. Great job on painting white.

    • Author

      Lol… just for you Teri! 😃💕It’s super hard to find both strange and non-frightening creatures. Glad you liked him!

  9. Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

    I love bats (but you probably already guessed that 😉), and I love your doodlewash of this one!❤️ Almost no bats are blood suckers…and many eat bad bugs. 😊 It’s so sad that so many are threatened or endangered.

    • Author

      Thanks so much!! Oh funny…autocorrect wanted to change “so much” to “smooch”…thank too then!! Hehe 😃💕 Yeah… It’s been an interesting month, but sad to discover just how many of these creatures might not be around if humans get their way.

      • Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

        Thanks smooch…hahaha! That works, too. 💙 It is sad about all those endangered animals. 🙁

  10. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    Beautiful drawn and painted Charlie. Interesting facts!

  11. jmnowak 1 year ago

    How weird! Last night I stood outside my front door and noticed a number of our normal black fruit bats flying around our native trees. Hadn’t seen them in a while…good to see them back! This little whitey sounds like a very clever little bat…love the doodle, Charlie!

    • Author

      Awww thanks Janina! 😃💕Yeah… I think the little white ones would be pretty cute to see flying around. We have fruit bats that come out near us, but we haven’t seen them yet!

      • jmnowak 1 year ago

        I think you certainly couldn’t miss seeing them at night!

  12. Susan Feniak 1 year ago

    I am not afraid of bats mostly because they do more good then harm. I respect them. Around here they deplete the mosquito population. A tiny white bat how intriguing. I have a visual of the harem camping out under their protective leaf. Too cute. 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks Susan! Glad you liked this! 💕😃You should google this one… the photos of them all cuddled up are pretty charming. Never thought I’d think that about a bat either! lol

      • Susan Feniak 1 year ago

        Will do. Charming might be a stretch! 🙂

  13. Oh I love bats, never heard of this white beauty, great doodlewash, and so unusual, shame another creature has habitat issues, created by US HUMANS.

    • Author

      Thanks so much Rebecca! 💕😃Yeah… it’s always heart-breaking to discover these guys are often nearly endangered because of humans.

  14. Tom Merriman 1 year ago

    It is a cute little creature, Charlie. I haven’t heard of or seen this animal before, but it reminds me of something… only for the life of me I can’t think what!

  15. Cathe 1 year ago

    What a great little creature with his leaf nose. I love that they build tents. They sound rather sweet. Wonderful Doodlewash Charlie!

  16. Rob 1 year ago

    Fun critter, but a vegetarisn? Eho knew, I learned someting today.

  17. itsmyhusbandandme 1 year ago

    Terrific pic. Vegetarian bat = good.
    JP

  18. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 year ago

    A ghostly little critter, isn’t s/he?

  19. artandmoondreams 1 year ago

    Sooo cute! Wonderful painting, really get the sense of bat furry-ness. Delightful and charming.

  20. ickarus1976 9 months ago

    Nice

  21. neocasanova 6 months ago

    ¿Porque no hay peligroso?

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