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White Tent Bat: first report for the Soltis Center

Although reported in the lowland rainforests of eastern Honduras, northern Nicaragua, eastern Costa Rica and western Panama, this is the first time that the White Tent Bat (Phyllostomatidae: Ectophylla alba) is found in the forests of the Soltis Center.  The bats are rather small in size, measuring at just 1-2 inches (3–5 cm) in length and the weight is less than an ounce at .2 (6 grams).
Their preferred plant for making tents seems to be the heliconias and by cutting along the veins or main rib of the leave, the leaves collapse into upside-down V-shaped "tents" that shelter the bats. When roosting, they hang upside down in the center of the leaf. The tents protect them during the daytime from rain, direct sunlight and predators.
White tent bats are active only at night, when they search for food. Their diet consists mostly of flowers, fruits or seeds. Since white bats live mainly under heliconia leaves, rainforest destruction is a serious threat. Natural predators may include opossums, snakes and other carnivorous animals.