Are you a stubborn Taurus or a dramatic Leo? Maybe you’re more of an analytical Virgo or an empathetic Pisces. Humans have long looked to the stars to explain patterns in human behavior, including the western zodiac with its 12 astrological signs.

05.28.24

By Alyson Brokaw

Are you a stubborn Taurus or a dramatic Leo? Maybe you’re more of an analytical Virgo or an empathetic Pisces. Humans have long looked to the stars to explain patterns in human behavior, including the western zodiac with its 12 astrological signs. You may already know your sign and its associated personality traits. But here’s a question you may not have considered: which bat species aligns with your zodiac sign?  

Aries: The Ram

Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus)

Egyptian Fruit Bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) flying, Michigan
Steve Gettle/Minden Pictures

Energetic and courageous, with just a hint of competitive streak? Sounds like something Aries and the Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) have in common. These feisty fruit eaters roost in large colonies inside of caves, which they navigate using a tongue-click form of echolocation. Big families like this can lead to minor squabbles and Egyptian fruit bats aren’t afraid to make their opinions known, using a range of complex vocalizations. 


Taurus: The Bull

Common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus)

Desmodus rotundus
Sherri & Brock Fenton

Taurus signs are often characterized by their determination and appreciation for comfort. While also a little stubborn, their dependability makes Taurus a great friend when you need a ride home from the airport, or you’ve missed a meal and are at risk of starvation. Well, that second one better fits the batty equivalent, the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus). Vampire bats build trust with one another by grooming each other and meal sharing- where well-fed bats regurgitate their blood meal into the mouths of a hungry roostmate. Bats are more likely to engage in this behavior with individuals who helped them out in the past, creating a batty type of mutual aid. 


Gemini: The Twins

Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus)

A big brown bat is in flight.
Michael Durham/Minden Pictures

Quick-witted, curious and adaptable, Geminis are the social butterflies of the zodiac – or should we say the social bats? When it comes to adaptability, there is no bat better than the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus). In much of North America, they are the species most likely to be your urban neighbor or unwelcome attic house guest as they have readily adapted to living around humans. This hibernating bat species has been surprisingly resilient in the face of white-nose syndrome, the fungal disease that has caused massive declines in little brown bats, northern longed bats and tricolored bats


Cancer: The Crab

California leaf-nosed bat (Macrotus californicus

Jason Corbett

Typical Cancer traits include being nurturing, compassionate, loyal and just a little sensitive. These traits make them a little like the California leaf-nosed bat (Macrotus californicus). With hearing abilities so sensitive they can detect the footsteps of their insect-prey, mirroring the intuition of Cancers. These non-migratory, big-eared bats are homebodies, and are extremely sensitive to disturbances in their cave and abandoned mine roosts


Leo: The Lion

Hammer-headed fruit bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus)

Stephen C. Smith

Confident and charismatic, Leos love to be the center of attention. With a flare for the dramatic, Leo’s best bat match would be the hammer-headed fruit bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus). Males compete for attention by arranging themselves along the rivers of West and Central Africa and loudly honking with the help of resonating chambers in their noses. Females are smaller, roughly half the size of males and with a fox-like face more typical of other large fruit bats.


Virgo: The Maiden

Fringe-lipped bat (Trachops cirrhosus)

Fringe-lipped Bat
Bruce D. Taubert

If you want something done to perfection, ask a Virgo. Detail-oriented and practical, the bat equivalent of this zodiac sign would be the fringe-lipped bat (Trachops cirrhosus). Also called the frog-eating bat, this species is known for its clever hunting of frogs in Central America. These smart bats have excellent memories when it comes to hunting. Not only are they able to learn the calls of toxic and nontoxic amphibians, they can remember these lessons years later


Libra: The Scales

Spix’s disc-winged bat (Thyroptera tricolor)

Spix's Disk-winged Bat (Thyroptera tricolor) pair roosting in rolled up Heliconia (Heliconia sp) leaf with the help of tiny suction cups on their wings, Smithsonian Tropical Research Station, Barro Colorado Island, Panama
Christian Ziegler/Minden Pictures

A sign represented by a set of scales, it makes sense that Libras thrive on order and are known for being charming and thoughtful. Thoughtful like the Spix’s disc-winged bats (Thyroptera tricolor) who are always communicating with their fellow bats. Disc-winged bats roost in the furled up leaves of Heliconia plants, but these roosts are only temporary and can be hard to find. Bats searching for a roost make “inquiry” calls and if any of their roost mates have found a good leaf, they help their flying buddies locate them with response calls (like a batty game of ‘Marco-Polo’). 


Scorpio: The Scorpion

Hill’s horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hilli)

Hills Horseshoe Bat Survey - Rwanda 2019
Jon Flanders

Intense. Passionate. Determined. Just a few of the characteristics of a Scorpio and also of the Hill’s horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hilli). Mysterious because this Critically Endangered bat hadn’t been seen in its Rwandan mountain habitat for nearly 40 years, until a team of researchers (including experts from BCI) recaptured the bat during a field expedition in 2019. Though relatively little is known about this bat, it is thought that they roost in forest caves and old mines in Nyungwe National Park and surrounding areas of southwestern Rwanda. Despite land use changes and degrading mine habitat, these determined bats have continued to persist.


Sagittarius: The Archer

Little red flying fox (Pteropus scapulatus)

Little Red Flying Fox

With a free-spirit and optimistic attitude, Sagittarius are always up for an adventure. Also sharing a love of exploration is the little red flying fox (Pteropus scapulatus). These bats are winged nomads, wandering the Australian landscape in search of flowering and fruiting trees. These relatively small flying foxes (weighing less than a pound) travel an average of 3,000 miles a year, with some recording moving nearly 4000 miles in a year. This makes them both the most restless and wide-wandering mammals in the world, beating out famous migrators like caribou and wildebeest who only move between 700 and 2,000 miles a year. 


Capricorn: The Goat

Common noctule (Nyctalus noctula)

A common nOctoberule perched.
Bat Conservation International

Relentless, hard-working and creative, a typical Capricorn may also be described as a bit of an overachiever. Good thing the common noctule (Nyctalus noctula) is a bit of an overachiever as well. Insect-eating bats common throughout Europe, female noctule bats can migrate up almost 1,000 miles to summer ground where they give birth to pups in maternity colonies. They are fast fliers, regularly cruising at speeds around 31 miles per hour above the treeline while they search for insect prey. 


Aquarius: The Water Bearer

New Zealand lesser short-tailed bat (Mystacina tuberculata)

Jake Osborne

Aquarians are clever, intellectual and perhaps a bit eccentric – just like the New Zealand lesser short-tailed bat (Mystacina tuberculata), also known as the pekapeka-tou-poto in the Māori language. One of only two bat species found in New Zealand, lesser short-tailed bats are unusual, even when it comes to bats. Unlike most other bats, lesser short-tailed bats spend large amounts of time scurrying on the forest floor where they hunt for ground-dwelling insects and flowers. They are also accomplished creatives, with male bats singing fast, complex songs from tree stump stages to attract females during the mating period. 


Pisces: The Fish 

Greater bulldog bat (Noctilio leporinus)

Greater Bulldog Bat (NOctoberilio leporinus) fishing, Smithsonian Tropical Research Station, Barro Colorado Island, Panama
Christian Ziegler/Minden Pictures

Dreamy idealists, Pisces are also known for their creativity, compassion, and escapist tendencies. What better place to escape to than a tropical forest river at sunset with their bat counterpart, the greater bulldog bat (Noctilio leporinus). These floppy-lipped giants can be found patrolling rivers and streams in Central and South America, where they hunt aquatic insects, crustaceans and fish with their enormous taloned feet. Females form small social groups, where they establish a collective group odor by rubbing their heads on each other’s armpits. You know what they say – those who smell together, stay together!


Like the many dimensions of human behavior, the world of bats is also full of complexity and diversity. While bats themselves may not be predictive of human behavior, we can certainly appreciate the wonder and magic they bring to the world. 

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