Diclidurus albus, Wied-Neuwied, 1820

Bonaccorso, Frank, 2019, Family Emballonuridae (Sheath-tailed Bats), Handbook of the Mammals of the World, Vol. 9, Lyny Edicions, pp. 350-373: 367

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Diclidurus albus


38 View On . Northern Ghost Bat

Diclidurus albus  

French: Diclidure fantôme / German: Weisse Gespenstfledermaus / Spanish: Dicliduro norteno

Other common names: White Ghost Bat

Taxonomy. Diclidurus albus Wied-Neuwied, 1820   , “ am Ausflusse des Rio Pardo.” Identified by M. P. zu Wied-Neuwied in 1826 as “Canavieiras,” Rio Pardo , Bahia, Brazil.  

Diclidurus albus   is in the subgenus Diclidurus   .. Populations in Central America might be a distinct species referable as D. virgo   , but additional studies are needed. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution.

D. a. albus Wied-Neuwied, 1820   - the Guianas, most of Brazil, and E Peru.

D. a. virgo Thomas, 1903   — from SW & S Mexico S through Central America to Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad I, and W Ecuador. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head—body 68—82 mm, tail 18-22 mm, ear 16-17 mm, hindfoot 10-12 mm, forearm 63-69 mm; weight 17- 24 g. The Northern Ghost Bat has white fur on dorsum and venter, but basal one- third of hairs are neutral gray. Some individuals appear more grayish than white. Flight membranes are unpigmented but appear pinkish from rich vascularization. Ears are yellow. Arms, legs, and face are pink. Eyes are large. Lower regions of the face are naked. Although wing sacs are absent, glandular sac occurs around tip of tail that is more developed in males than females. Thumbs are vestigial. Dental formula of all species of Diclidurus   is 11/3, C 1/1, P 2/2, M 3/3 (x2) = 32.

Habitat. Riparian and tropical rainforests and human-disturbed areas such as plantations, clearings, and villages from sea level to elevations of c.1700 m. In Brazil, the Northern Ghost Bat occurs in Amazonian wet forests and Atlantic Dry Forest, the latter biome being highly fragmented.

Food and Feeding. Northern Ghost Bats are insectivorous, and moths are favored in their diets. They forage for aerial insects high above forest canopies and large clearings and over water. Visual observations suggest foraging can occur up to 135 m aboveground.

Breeding. In Mexico, copulations occur in January-February, and pregnancy and lactation take place through June. Females produce one young that remains with them at least through August. Non-pregnant adult females have been observed in December-February, suggesting they are monoestrous.

Activity patterns. Northern Ghost Bats are crepuscular. Palms are used as day roosts including coconut palms ( Cocos nucifera   ). On the Pacific slope of Mexico, Northern Ghost Bats roost in native palm Orbignya cohune   , and in eastern Mexico Astrocaryum mexicana   (all Arecaceae   ). They roost near rachis ofa palm frond 2-25 m aboveground, with their white coloration making them very cryptic when viewed from below against sunlight. They emit low-frequency echolocation calls, with very long pulse durations.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. For most of the year, Northern Ghost Bats are solitary except for females with dependent young. Small, temporary groups of a male and up to three adult females occur during breeding season. Individuals in a breeding group roost 5—10 cm from each other. In Jalisco, Mexico, Northern Ghost Bats are present only from late October to May, suggesting some populations are migratory.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Least Concern on The IUCN Red List. The Northern Ghost Bat has a large distribution and presumably large and stable overall population. Additional studies are needed on its distribution, habitat, ecology, and conservation threats.

Bibliography. Ceballos & Medellin (1988), erreira et al. (2013), Hood & Gardner (2008), Kalko (1995a), Lim, B.K. et al. (1999), Potchynok (2006), Villa   (1967), Wied-Neuwied (1826).














Diclidurus albus

Bonaccorso, Frank 2019


Lioy 1864

Diclidurus albus

Wied-Neuwied 1820