Scientific Name
Centurio senex
Global Conservation Status (IUCN)
Least Concern
sen-chur-ee-oh sen-ex

Data Sheet

Pronunciation: sen-chur-ee-oh sen-ex

Fun Fact: Wrinkle-faced bats have the strongest bite force, relative to size of any neotropical leaf-nosed bat.

The wrinkle-faced bat is found through Central America to Venezuela, where they are generally uncommon to rare. They are found in dense, second-growth deciduous and evergreen forests.

Amongst the most unique looking bats, the wrinkle-faced bat is named for its wrinkly and folded face; its scientific name roughly translates to “100-year-old man.” In addition to their folded faces, males also have additional skin folds around the neck, which are thought to contain scent glands. The bats also have unique wing patterning –  one panel of their wings is nearly transparent while the other panels display stripes of a lattice-pattern.

While they tend to prefer over-ripe and squishy fruit, their strong jaws allow them to feed on very hard or unripe fruits when resources are scarce. The many folds and wrinkles on their lips and jaws help filter the fruit juice when feeding, and they can temporarily store fruit pulp in their mouth. While many fruit-eating bats are important seed dispersers, wrinkle-faced bats may actually be seed-predators of certain plants; the bats use their strong jaws to bite through and destroy seeds while feeding.

Staff Pick: Mike Daulton, Executive Director

Literature Cited:
Dumont, E. R., Herrel, A., Medellin, R. A., Vargas‐Contreras, J. A., & Santana, S. E. (2009) Built to bite: cranial design and function in the wrinkle‐faced bat. Journal of Zoology, 279(4), 329-337

Reid, F.A. (2009) A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico. 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, New York, NY

Villalobos-Chaves, D., Padilla-Alvárez, S., & Rodríguez-Herrera, B. (2016) Seed predation by the wrinkle-faced bat Centurio senex: a new case of this unusual feeding strategy in Chiroptera. Journal of Mammalogy, 97(3), 726-733