Scientific Name
Ectophylla alba
Global Conservation Status (IUCN)
Near Threatened

Data Sheet

Pronunciation: ek-toh-fye-la al-bah

Fun Fact: The Honduran white bat is the first mammalian species known to incorporate carotenoids (a class of red, orange and yellow pigments found in plants) in their skin. The bright yellow color of their wings, ears, and nose comes from a yellow carotenoid pigment called lutein, which is probably attained by the bat’s diet of peeled fig fruits.

Honduran white bats are found only in Central America, ranging from Honduras through parts of eastern Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and western Panama. Also sometimes called the Honduran White Tent-making Bat, these small, Leaf-nosed Bats roost in leaf ‘tents’. Using their teeth, the bats cut along the ribs of Heliconia leaves to create a folded tent-like structure. Colonies tend to be small, with bats roosting in groups of two to 15 individuals.

One of the two smallest Frugivorous Bat species in the world, Honduran white bats feast on figs, particularly one species of fig (Ficus Colombrine). Likely as a result of this specialization, Honduran white bats have relatively large home ranges compared to other larger, fruit-eating bat species. The bats also prefer to forage on trees that are close to their roosts and may spend all night eating at a tree.

Staff Pick: Karen Kimbell, Director of Membership & Individual Giving