- Scientific Name
Pronunciation: fy-lo-nik-ter-us ah-fy-lah
Conservation Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List)
Fun Fact: While technically a ‘leaf-nosed bat’, Jamaican Flower Bats have very small, inconspicuous nose-leaves. The species name for this bat – aphylla – is derived from the Ancient Greek word áphullos, which means leafless.
One singular colony of Jamaican Flower Bats is found on the island of Jamaica, where the bats roost in a “hot cave,” where temperatures might reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Weighing between 14 to 18 grams, these bats have short, silky, pale fur with dark wing membranes, and a long snout tipped with a tiny disc-shaped nose-leaf.
Jamaican Flower Bats roost in colonies, often with other bat species. This bat is an obligate cave-dweller, meaning it needs cave habitat in order to survive. Its diet is thought to consist of nectar, fruit, pollen and occasionally insects.
The Jamaican Flower Bat is currently listed as Critically Endangered by IUCN, due to its restricted range and estimated population of fewer than 250 individuals. Main threats to this bat are habitat disturbance and invasive non-native predators, mainly feral cats. Bat Conservation International is working with the Jamaican government to protect the colony and establish long-term roost monitoring and habitat protection.
Staff Pick: Jason Corbett, Director of Habitat Conservation and Restoration
“With a soft, whiteish coat, a long tongue for sipping nectar from flowers, a stout body, and a delicate and graceful flight, this Caribbean bat has captured my imagination and steeled my resolve to ensure it does not go extinct.”
For more information on Bat Conservation International projects including work with Jamaican Flower Bats: Endangered Species Interventions