Scientific Name
Trachops cirrhosus
Global Conservation Status (IUCN)
Least Concern

Data Sheet

Pronunciation: tray-cops sir-hoh-sus

Fun Fact: Also called frog-eating bats, fringe-lipped bats snack on Tungara frogs. They locate these frogs by listening for the calling sounds of male frogs, and can use their echolocation abilities to detect the water ripples surrounding the frogs — even after the frogs have stopped calling.

The fringe-lipped bat is found in lowland to mid-elevation (1,400 meters above sea level) tropical forests from southern Mexico through southeastern Brazil. Colonies of this bat tend to be small (usually less than 10 individuals). and they will often roost with other species. Common roost sites include hollow trees, caves, road culverts, and buildings.

The fringe-lipped bat is named for the wart-like bumps on its lips and muzzle that may be used to secrete toxin-neutralizing factors from the skin of the frogs they eat. They have large ears, long woolly fur, and a serrated nose-leaf. One of the most well studied populations of this bat is in Panama, where individuals appear to specialize in frogs as a food source. However, these bats will also consume large insects such as beetles and katydids, small lizards, and possibly even other bats.

The social structure of the fringe-lipped bat is still unknown. Males have been observed with an orange forearm “crust”, that they appear to build through unique grooming and clawing behaviors. This crust also has a distinctive smell and might be used as a signal to indicate body condition to female bats.

Staff Pick: Dr. Amanda Adams, Conservation Research Program Manager