Volume 12, Issue 1, Spring 1994


Honduran white bats (Ectophylla alba) are among the 15 species of Latin American bats known to modify leaves into "tents." By biting a plant's veins, the bats cause the leaf to droop, forming a partially enclosed space under which to roost. These mothers are raising their young under a Heliconia leaf in Costa Rica. During the day, the tiny bats are well camouflaged; light filtering through the leaf turns their white fur a pale green, making them difficult to distinguish from the leaf itself (the bats in this photo are lit by a flash). Like other tent-roosting bats, Honduran white bats are fruit eaters and live in tropical forests.

Photo by Merlin D. Tuttle

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