An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

cf. Common Long-tongued Bat, GLOSSOPHAGA SORICINA

from the August 8, 2010 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO
LONG-TONGUED BAT

Once again during my weekly banana-buying jaunt into Pisté I came upon a bat lying motionless on the ground. You might recall the big Jamaican Fruit Bat we found like that and reported on in last year's December 6th Newsletter. That piece is still at http://www.backyardnature.net/yucatan/fruitbat.htm.

That bat was special not only because of its size but because it was a leaf-nosed bat -- bore a fleshy, leaflike appendage above its nostrils, clearly seen in the photo at the above page.

This week's bat was much smaller, dark gray instead of the Jamaican Fruit Bat's rusty color, but it also bore a leafy flange above its nostrils. You can see it dangling from my fingers ("up" is at the left) at the top of this page.

A close-up of the head with its slender tongue sticking out (the bat turned out to be still alive) is below:

cf. Common Long-tongued Bat, GLOSSOPHAGA SORICINA

For all I know this could be an immature Jamaican Fruit Bat, but my best guess is that it's the Common Long-tongued Bat, GLOSSOPHAGA SORICINA.

I came to that name rather tenuously. In the Google Books presentation of Fiona Reid's 2009 book A Field Guide to The Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico, I looked at all the leaf-nose bat distribution maps available and found only the Common Long-tongued Bat in our area, though Google left out a few pages so you'll buy the complete book. There I also read that Common Long-tongued Bats have long, slender tongues, and are the most commonly encountered nectar-feeding bats in Central America. Also it looks like other Common Long-tongued Bats shown on the Internet. Therefore, without examining teeth and other obscure details, "Common Long-tongued Bat" is a decent bet.

Common Long-tongued Bats, Fiona Reid reports, eat moths and fruits in the wet season and nectar and pollen in the dry season. They roost in small to large groups in caves, tunnels, culverts, hollow trees and buildings, usually not in complete darkness. Individuals hang singly or in clusters.

I have no idea why this bat appeared to be almost dead. Maybe he was just drunk from sipping too much fermented sap. Whatever his condition, I left him in the angle formed where a Sabal Palmetto frond attached to its trunk, and wished him the best.