Chilonatalus tumidifrons, G. S. Miller, 1903

Don E. Wilson & Russell A. Mittermeier, 2019, Natalidae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 9 Bats, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 589-596 : 592

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.6811090


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Chilonatalus tumidifrons


4. View Plate 45: Natalidae

Bahamian Lesser Funnel-eared Bat

Chilonatalus tumidifrons View in CoL

French: Natalide des Bahamas / German: Kleines Bahamas-Trichterohr / Spanish: Natalido de las Bahamas

Other common names: Bahaman Funnel-eared Bat, Bahamian Least Funnel-eared Bat

Taxonomy. Chilonatalus tumidifrons G. S. Miller, 1903 View in CoL ,

“Watlings Island [= San Salvador Island], Bahamas.”

This species is monotypic.

Distribution. Bahamas (Abaco, Andros, and San Salvador Is). View Figure

Descriptive notes. Ear 14-7-17-2 mm, forearm 31-7-36 mm (males) and 32.8-35-2 mm (females); weight 3-3-5 g (males) and 3 g (females). Pelage is dense, long, light brown to orange-brown,lighter dorsally, and bicolored, with tips darker than bases. There are dense mustache-like hair tufts along lateral margins of upperlip. It has dermal outgrowths around mouth and relatively large skull. Ears are broad and square-shaped, with vestigial 2-3 ear pleats, straight anterior and lateral margins, and relatively rounded apex. Natalid organ of males is melon-shaped, up to one-half the length of skull, and covering one-half of dorsum of rostrum and forehead. Wings are broad and relatively pointed, inserting to tibia at its proximal one-half. Free edge of uropatagium has fine fringe of hairs. Rostrum is long and narrow, and braincase is inflated, rising gradually from rostrum. Crown of second premolar is about as high as that of third premolar. Skull constriction between orbits is relatively narrow, ridge between basisphenoid furrows is wide, and second premolar is crowded.

Habitat. Only semideciduous forest habitats near sea level. The Bahamian Lesser Funnel-eared Bat roosts in small to large caves, usually in areas near open water sources but also in drier sections. Roost-site temperatures are 23—-24°C.

Food and Feeding. There is no specific information available for this species, but the Bahamian Lesser Funnel-eared Bat is certainly insectivorous.

Breeding. Male-only roosting groups of Bahamian Lesser Funnel-eared Bats have been found in July. If sexes segregate during reproduction as in other natalids, this suggests that lactation takes place in July. Males have extremely short penises (1-2-3 mm) relative to other natalids and conversely very large natalid organs. For this reason, it has been speculated that mating system involves lekking behavior.

Activity patterns. The Bahamian Lesser Funnel-eared Bat is nocturnal. Foraging activity begins around sunset, with emergence lasting c.30 minutes. Its broad wings and large tail membranes suggest it flies very slowly, having been compared to that of a large moth.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. Roosting groups of Bahamian Lesser Funnel-eared Bats can switch between roosting caves located 1 km apart on a daily basis. They can share caves with larger bats, such as the Buffy Flower Bat (Erophylla sezekorni), Waterhouse’s Leaf-nosed Bat (Macrotus waterhousii), and the Big Brown Bat ( Eptesicus fuscus), but they roost away from them and in low areas under shelves or ledges. A colony of ¢.300 Bahamian Lesser Funnel-eared Bats on Abaco abandoned a cave entirely when 100-200 Bufty Flower Bats occupied it.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Near Threatened on The IUCN Red List. The Bahamian Lesser Funnel-eared Bat is known only from twelve localities, of which eight are caves. It has been found in groups ranging from less than ten to more than 500 individuals. Its only large population might be on San Salvador Island, given the island’s high abundance of small, non-surveyed caves that potentially harbor colonies. On Abaco, it is known from two caves, and on Andros, it is known only from Bat Cave where many individuals have been observed swarming out to feed.

Bibliography. Allen (1905), Miller (1903, 1905), Ottenwalder & Genoways (1982), Tejedor (2011).














Chilonatalus tumidifrons

Don E. Wilson & Russell A. Mittermeier 2019

Chilonatalus tumidifrons

G. S. Miller 1903
GBIF Dataset (for parent article) Darwin Core Archive (for parent article) View in SIBiLS Plain XML RDF